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British American Tobacco to invest EUR 1 billion in Romania over five years

British American Tobacco is to invest EUR 1 billion in the Romanian economy through its three companies over the next five years. The Ploiesti-based factory is projected to become the second in Europe in terms of importance, at group level, the company announced on Tuesday.

Apart from the Ploiesti factory, which was established in 1997, British American Tobacco operates two other companies, namely the distribution company at a national level and the services center that provides the operations of British American Tobacco in Europe.

“Romania is an investment-friendly environment, with well-trained people and the highest economic growth in the European Union in 2016, a growth to which we are proud we can contribute. Therefore, we want to continue the positive impact we have on the local economy through our long-term commitment, including the securing of over 2,000 jobs across the country, and creating others in the coming years, ” said Gemma Webb, CEO British American Tobacco, in the presence of representatives of government and local authorities attending the event.

The Ploiesti factory will receive investment starting next year in the production of Neopods, a product currently made in the United Kingdom. Francisco Toso, the Director General of the British American Tobacco factory in Ploiesti said: “Currently, we are increasing the capacity of the Ploiesti factory built from scratch in 1997. At the same time, we will start to produce in Romania the Neopods capsules, for the glo Ifuse device, one of the most technologically advanced products.”

Georgeta Gheorghe

Romania’s President promulgates new law on tobacco products

The tobacco law, which sets out the conditions for the manufacturing, presentation, and sale of tobacco products according to a European directive, was promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis on November 3.

According to the new law, the warning pictures need to cover 65% of the package’s surface.

The flavored cigarettes will be banned 30 days after the law is published in the Official Gazette. The menthol cigarettes can be sold until 2019, but the ones with a click will disappear from the market.

The European directive should have been applied starting May 20. It was approved two years ago, but it hasn’t been transposed into the national law.

The European Commission had already started the sanctioning procedures against Romania. However, the local tobacco producers asked for more time to prepare for the changes brought by this new law.

EU Court Upholds Tough Tobacco Law On Packaging, Flavors, E-Cigarettes

Tobacco companies, led by Philip Morris International, lost an appeal in the European Union’s top court Wednesday against strict packaging rules for cigarettes. The Court of Justice for the European Union also dismissed appeals by Poland and Romania to the EU decision to ban flavored cigarettes, such as menthol.

In the matter of flavored cigarettes, the court reasoned that tobacco products with menthol or another “pleasant flavor” makes them “more attractive to consumers and that reducing the attractiveness of those products may contribute to reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and dependence among new and continuing users.”

In a statement on the official EU website, the court also said that the EU legislature was right in forming the law in 2014, which guards against divergences in different rules of various member states, especially when it came to health matters.

In a setback to tobacco companies, led by Philip Morris and British American Tobacco, the court also ruled in favor of EU regulations on cigarette packaging, which mandate a message and a color photograph — covering at least 65 percent of each packet’s front and back — warning of the dangers of smoking. The court said that “the EU legislature did not go beyond the limits of what is appropriate and necessary,” and added that individual countries could impose stricter rules, such as plain packaging without any branding.

The court also upheld new limits on e-cigarettes, despite manufacturers claiming they should be dealt with under a different law because e-cigarettes were not actually tobacco products. A limit on maximum nicotine content, of 20 mg/ml, was declared valid, along with requirements of specific warnings and leaflets, and a prohibition on advertising.

“The identified and potential risks linked to the use of electronic cigarettes have led the EU legislature to act in a manner consistent with the requirements stemming from the precautionary principle,” the court said.

The ruling by the Court of Justice for the European Union cannot be appealed.

Romania wants to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes and change the warning messages on cigarette packs

The Romanian Ministry of Health has published a draft bill that includes a list of restrictions related to the sale of tobacco products.

For example, the Ministry will regulate the ingredients that can be used in tobacco products. It will thus ban the sale of flavored cigarettes and tobacco, including the electronic cigarettes’ liquid, and of those containing special additives such as vitamins, caffeine, taurine, or the additives that give the impression that the product has a beneficial effect on health, or that the risk is smaller, reports local

The draft bill also changes the warning messages on cigarette packages. The labeling should include a “smoking kills” general warning on 50% of the lateral side of the pack, and a “tobacco smoke contains more than 70 substances that cause cancer” information message on 50% of the lateral side. Moreover, there should also be combined health warnings, made up of text, picture and a phone number where the consumer can call to get information on how to quit smoking, on the top of the pack’s both sides, on 65% of the surface. A black outer frame will have a size of 1 mm and will be included in the warning area.

When it comes to the non-combustible tobacco products, the labeling should include the “this tobacco product is harmful to health and is addictive” warning on both sides. The warning message will have to cover 30% of the product’s surface.

Moreover, the Ministry of Health will also ban the sale of chewing tobacco.

The draft bill also stipulates that the new products must be retested before being placed on the market. It also introduces limits on the electronic cigarettes’ content: for example, the liquids containing nicotine will only be put on the market in dedicated refill bottles with a maximum volume of 10 ml, in disposable electronic cigarettes, or in disposable cartridges, the maximum volume of the cartridges and reservoirs will not exceed 2 ml and the liquid that contains nicotine can’t have more than 20 mg of nicotine per ml. The labeling should also include all the ingredients, a warning message, but it shouldn’t contain references to the special properties of the product.

The manufacturers and importers of cigarettes will report to the Ministry of Health the ingredients used in the manufacturing process, the tobacco products’ emissions, and sales volume data of tobacco products in Romania, per type and brand.

The law should enter into force on May 20, 2016, but products that don’t meet the legislation could still be placed on the market until May 20, 2017, reports

Canine teams fight cigarette smuggling at customs Romania

Fiscal policy officials and representatives of law enforcement authorities in ten European and Asian countries met in Bucharest last weekend for two days to determine future strategies to halt the loss of billions of dollars due to illegal trade, counterfeit products and other aspects of the black economy.

“We are talking about a dangerous problem and growing, which is not only a fiscal matter. Apart caused substantial losses in state budgets, illegal restricts economic development, raise barriers and increase costs of international trade, produce significant health risks and presents many challenges for the authorities – from intellectual property infringement, to money laundering and organized crime, “said Daniel Witt, President, International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC). Some experts gathered to addressing the connection between the underground economy, tax evasion and illegal trade, there were experienced officials from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Customs Organization, INTERPOL and EUROPOL and private sector specialists and university professors . “One of the main issues related to the underground economy is illicit trade in tobacco products because it is linked to organized crime. In this context, cooperation between companies and authorities can help to achieve better results in combating black market cigarettes. This conference represents a unique opportunity to understand the latest trends in illegal trade and techniques to combat it. Officials attending the event will be better equipped in order to implement the strategies discussed in Bucharest in local context and will use the contacts established at the conference, sharing information in order to more widely in the future, “said Cristina Vasiloiu, CEO Euromonitor Business Consulting Services. “Given that cigarettes are excisable goods, smuggling of tobacco products, by significant losses due to budget represents a very serious problem. As I said, we need a new national strategy to combat illegal trade in cigarettes, nationwide, for the period 2015-2018, aimed at improving the regulatory framework and concrete measures to be implemented in concert by all institutions responsible. General Customs Department continues to implement firm measures to reduce smuggling. At the moment, are active in customs, supported by cigarette manufacturers, 33 canine teams specialized in detecting cigarettes and 11 canine teams with double capability – screening drugs and cigarettes.

Cooperation protocols were signed between NAFA and the major manufacturers of cigarettes, between DGV and the Customs Administration of Moldova and Serbia, in order to combat illegal trafficking. A similar document will be agreed with Ukraine. Also, since analyzes Customs, and Novel study reveals an increase in black market in the northern, western and northeast, as soon as the administrative capacity will allow, will be reintroduced at the border customs offices Sighet, Halmeu and Siret small border traffic monitoring certain products “, said Claudiu Ardeleanu, director general of the General Customs Directorate. “Simplify the legal framework which prevents illegal. It is necessary to develop an integrated strategy to combat illegal trafficking of goods and customs fraud in the EU’s eastern borders. Members of the Working Group which will develop and coordinate this strategy should come from OLAF, WCO, EUROPOL, INTERPOL, FRONTEX, SELECTION, EUBAM, the EU countries in the region and representatives of companies and authorities in member countries of the Eastern Partnership . An additional recommendation is the active involvement of EU member states, in order to create the necessary framework for business development and ensuring good conditions in countries bordering the European Union, “said Dorel Fronea, former head of the National Customs Authority of Romania and Mission was expert in the European Union Advice and Public Policy in Moldova. “International Conference on economy and taxes” was organized by the International Tax and Investment Center ( nonprofit research and education oriented on fiscal reform and public-private initiatives to improve the investment climate, and Euromonitor Business Consulting Services, provider of consulting policies and strategies for business development in Central and Eastern Europe

Summary Report on the International Conference on the Shadow Economy and Taxation

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