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Track & trace system bolsters EU fight against illicit tobacco trade

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Track & trace system bolsters EU fight against illicit tobacco trade

Photo © doomu - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - A new system of tobacco traceability became operational in Europe Monday, with the first EU producers requesting and receiving traceability markings for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products.

The new system means that consumers will be seeing new traceability markings on packs they buy, together with the required security features.

The markings will enable national authorities to track and trace the movements of these packs across the legal supply chain in the EU.

While 20 May is the legal launch date, the EU-wide system for tobacco traceability already started its operations on 10 May 2019.

Over the past days, producers, distributors and shop owners across the EU have begun to register themselves and their facilities in the system.

"The establishment of the European system of tobacco traceability and security features marks an important milestone in the EU's fight against illicit trade in tobacco products," said Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis: "This has been an extremely ambitious project, against a very tight timeline set by the co-legislators, and I am therefore especially pleased to see that the systems have started working."

EU Member States are responsible for the establishment of an entity in charge of issuing the new traceability markings ("ID issuer") and they have made substantial progress over the past months to issue these markings.

The Commission says it is aware that one Member State has not yet been able to deliver on this obligation but, in the meantime, to enable the start of the system on time, the Commission adopted a decision authorizing economic operators to use the ID issuer services of other Member States.

The Commission is monitoring the situation carefully and will use all means at its disposal to ensure the system is fully operational across all Member States as soon as possible.

Tobacco traceability and security features - background guide

Systems for tobacco traceability and security features

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