No trace of EU tobacco tracking system as yet

| November 2, 2015

The EU Commission has said that it would be premature at this stage to indicate what system would be used meet tobacco track and trace requirements of the new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

The Commission was responding to two questions by Mairead McGuinness, an Irish member of the European Parliament.

In a preamble to her questions, McGuinness said that the introduction of Codentify as a possible procedure to track and trace tobacco products, which had been developed by the tobacco industry, had given rise to ‘concerns that it may lead to exploitative actions by the tobacco companies themselves’.

‘Can the Commission provide an update on its strategy to track and trace tobacco products in the EU?’ she asked. ‘Does it foresee that Codentify will be adopted at EU level despite the concerns expressed by some?’

In its reply, the Commission said that Article 15 of the new TPD included a mandatory track and trace system for tobacco products in the EU. ‘This system has to be operational as of 20 May 2019 for cigarettes and roll-your-own products and as of 20 May 2024 for all other tobacco products,’ it said. ‘The Commission is currently preparing the required implementing legislation. In line with the indicative timetable, published by the Commission, it is envisaged that the legal acts are adopted by mid-2017, which will leave almost two years for the implementation in practice.

‘The Commission is aware of the existing systems to address illicit trade (including Codentify developed by the tobacco industry to comply with their obligations under the four anti-fraud agreements concluded by the Commission, on behalf of the EU, as well as Member States).

‘It is premature at this stage to indicate the technical solutions of the track and trace system to be developed under the TPD.’

Category: Breaking News

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