A ban on the display of tobacco products at sales outlets will increase counterfeiting
On July 13, 2021, at the sitting of the VRU Committee, it was unanimously decided to recommend the wording of Draft Law №4358 “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Public Health Protection from Tobacco Exposure” of November 10, 2020, for adoption as the basis and as a whole by Verkhovna Rada.
The European Business Association has repeatedly submitted proposals for draft Law №4358 and the comments were partially taken into account.
According to the information received in the working order, some MPs-initiators of the amendments to draft Law №4358, which had been rejected by the Verkhovna Rada Committee, announced their intention to initiate discussion of such amendments during the voting of draft Law №4358 in the second reading.
These include amendments on banning the display of tobacco products at sales outlets, as well as amendments on introducing a standardized pack for cigarettes.
According to the EBA experts, these norms are not justified either from the economic point of view or from the point of view of healthcare and are not provided by the international obligations of Ukraine.
The EBA member companies believe that the lack of opportunity to place tobacco products at sales outlets will potentially contribute to the growth of illegal trade in tobacco products, which in the future may lead to the closure of legal outlets. Thus, small legal outlets may eventually be replaced by “out of hand” sellers and open markets in terms of trade in tobacco products. Among other things, tobacco products may thus become more accessible to minors, as illegal sellers of tobacco products usually do not comply with the law, in particular the ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors.
According to the EBA experts, the introduction of standardized packaging for cigarettes or other tobacco products may make products more vulnerable to counterfeiting and change the price structure of the market in favor of cheaper cigarettes.
It should be noted that the volume of illegal trade in tobacco products has reached 15% as estimated by EBA member companies.
Therefore, business urges MPs to implement the requirements of Directive 2014/40 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 without excessive regulatory burden.
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