Have you Tracked & Traced?
Tobacco manufacturers, or anyone selling tobacco, are now required by law to provide unique codes on cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products. Take Stock brings you a step-by-step guide to the new regulations.
What is track & trace?
On 20 May 2019, track and trace came into effect. The regulations are part of the EU Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) and now UK law. The intention of the track and trace regulations is to ensure that legitimate tobacco products can be tracked through the supply chain, and that only retailers who have registered for codes for their business can purchase legitimate tobacco.
Why has it come into force?
The UK lost around £2.5bn to the illicit tobacco market in 2016/17, so the regulations are an important part of the fight against criminals buying and selling illegitimate products. At any time, if you suspect another business in your area is selling illicit tobacco, or you have been approached to purchase illicit tobacco, you should call the HMRC fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.
How does it work?
As tobacco products move through the supply chain, certain checks will need to take place under the new regulations:
• Manufacturers’ obligations – tobacco manufacturers that produce in or import to the EU can now only produce cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products which have unique identifier codes so they can be tracked through the supply chain.
• Wholesaler obligations – distributors, wholesalers and retailers with distribution centres must record the sale and movement of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products, including transloading, in and out of their warehouses until they arrive at a retail store.
• Outlet obligations – to purchase cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco with unique identifier codes, outlets must now have an: Economic Operator Identifier Code (EOIC) (for their business) and Facility Identifier Code (FIC) (for each outlet they sell tobacco from and for each premises which stores tobacco).
What happens if I haven’t complied?
If, by now, you don’t have an Economic Operator Identifier Code and a Facility Identifier Code you are not able to purchase tobacco. If outlets have identifier codes but breach their regulations, they could lose their ability to purchase tobacco. The government is currently proposing that in the following circumstances an outlet could lose their Economic Operator Identifier Code:
• sold illicit tobacco on three or more occasions within any 12-month period, and as a result illicit tobacco has been seized
• failed to rectify their non-compliance after being issued a compliance notice (for example, a retailer has not applied for a code)
• a conviction for selling illicit goods under the customs and excise acts
• received a penalty exceeding £10,000 for selling illicit goods within the last 12 months
• not used their identifier code in the last 12-months
• deliberately provided false information in an application to the UK ID Issuer for an identifier code
Do I still have time to comply?
Yes. The UK’s exit from the European Union will have no impact on the regulations, so anyone who hasn’t complied needs to as soon as possible because it is the law. To register for track and trace visit eutpd.uk.delarue. com. Your registration will be validated within two working days. If you have a visual impairment or don’t have access to a computer, you can contact the De La Rue Customer Care Centre on 0843 462 0259.
More information is available at gov.uk/guidance/selling-and-storingtobacco- products