Further anti-business measures to be imposed by the Commission

Published Oct 12, 2017

The tobacco industry’s smaller companies are facing worrying developments in the implementation of new anti-business measures drawn up by the European commission. The latest attack on small businesses can be seen in the new Track & Trace regulation.

Bill Etheridge MEP said “The regulation in its current form will impact the few remaining manufacturers in the UK (4 micro to small family-owned companies manufacturing and distributing nasal snuff, pipe tobacco and other traditional products).  Although well intentioned, sadly the regulation will fail to stop illegal tobacco from East Europe and will only obstruct legal producers/distributors.”

“This regulation fails to tackle the problem it’s trying to address and will only hurt legitimate small businesses.

“These plans may overstep the mandate that we, as the European Parliament, have given to the Commission under the European Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU). It establishes a self-imposed trade barrier, disproportionally impacting the smaller and traditional tobacco manufacturers, which ultimately may force them out of business and enhances the power of illegal tobacco firms.

“This is just another case of the Commission failing to identity the unintended consequences of regulation.

The Commission could be overstepping the mandate it was given by the European Parliament and Member States under the Tobacco products Directive (2014/40/EU) by including tobacco products for export in the Implementing Regulation.

Smaller and mid-sized companies very much rely on their ability to distribute and export their traditional Western European products such as nasal snuff, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own and chewing tobaccos. Including export products would establish a self-imposed trade barrier for products made in EU. Importantly, it may be an illegal extension of the scope of the Directive.
Now that all large tobacco manufacturing plants have closed in the UK and left thousands of citizens jobless, the tobacco manufacturing sector is left to a handful of micro to small family-owned companies, rooted in their original localities. These companies rely on their ability to export the traditional tobacco products (e.g. pipe tobacco, nasal snuff, chewing tobacco) they produce and distribute.

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