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Plain packs and EUTPD II tobacco legislation comes into force

Standardised packaging and EUTPD II tobacco legislation comes into force today, with tobacco manufacturers now only allowed to produce products that comply with the new regulations.

This includes no longer being able to manufacture cigarette packs containing less than twenty sticks, roll-your-own tobacco pouches under 30g or packaging featuring price marked packs.

Today also marks a year-long countdown to 20 May 2017 – beyond this date retailers must only sell standardised packs which comply with EUTPD II.

The High Court ruled yesterday that the tobacco industry had been unsuccessful in its legal challenge to the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations in the UK.

Duncan Cunningham, Imperial Tobacco UK and Ireland’s head of corporate and legal affairs, said: “Our focus remains on ensuring the success of our customers through the supply of compliant products. While the new regulations affect pack sizes and branding, today’s initial deadline principally affects tobacco manufacturers. Retailers will still be able to sell current formats until 20 May 2017 – an entire year from now.

“Tobacco pricing plays a critical role in the independent trade, and our experiences in Australia – which introduced standardised packaging in 2012 – suggest retailers who plan and prepare for change will be putting themselves in the strongest position to transition successfully.

“In the UK, we are working with the trade through our ‘Partnering for Success’ initiative to ensure the independent trade remains both compliant and competitive now the new regulations have come into force.”

Meanwhile, research from ECigIntelligence has found that nearly half of EU member states look likely to miss the deadline for putting the EU Tobacco Products Directive into local law.

It said as many as 12 countries may end up missing the deadline, including major European countries with significant e-cigarette markets such as France, Poland and Spain.

Tim Phillips, director of ECigIntelligence said: “This shows that regulating e-cigarettes across Europe will be a long road and Friday May 20th is only the beginning rather than the end.”

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