A ban on the display of tobacco products at sales outlets to be considered tomorrow
Tomorrow the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will put to the vote the draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Public Health Protection from the Harmful Effects of Tobacco” (№4358).
The European Business Association has repeatedly made proposals to this draft law, which, unfortunately, were only partially taken into account.
According to the information received in the working order, it is still possible to consider the amendments rejected at the last sitting of the Verkhovna Rada.
These include amendments to the ban on the display of tobacco products at sales outlets, as well as amendments to the introduction of a standardized pack for cigarettes.
According to the EBA experts, the amendments are not justified either from the viewpoint of healthcare or the economy. They are also not provided by the international obligations of Ukraine.
The EBA member companies believe that the impossibility 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 business. Sales volumes of small legal outlets, in turn, can eventually be replaced by trade in tobacco products “off hands” and in open markets. 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.
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 now reaches 15% as estimated by the 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 the excessive regulatory burden currently proposed in the draft law.
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