Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram ACS Podcasts Contact details Email us

Track and Trace

ACS provides guidance on track and trace regulations, but we are not responsible for registering retailers or providing codes.

To register for track and trace, visit

The tobacco ‘track and trace’ regulations are part of the EU Revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU). The UK Government are in the process of introducing the ‘track and trace’ provisions of the Directive into UK law. These regulations will come into effect on 20th May 2019.

If the UK leave the EU with a deal, the current UK and EU track and trace legislation will still apply and access to the EU Secondary Repository to record and upload the movement of tobacco products will be retained.

If the UK leave the EU with no deal, the government will suspend the current track and trace system as the UK will lose its access to the Secondary Repository and businesses would be unable to record and upload the movement of tobacco products.

The government would work towards developing a standalone UK track and trace scheme to be implemented as quickly as possible.

ACS has launched new guidance for retailers to help them comply with upcoming tobacco track and trace regulations.

Download the Guidance here

Retailer Obligations FAQs

What do retailers need to do?

From 20th May, retailers must have an Economic Operator Identifier Code (registered to their business) and a Facility Identifier Code (for each store or premises which stores tobacco) to purchase cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products with unique identifier codes.

To obtain an Economic Operator Identifier Code and Facility Identifier Codes, retailers must apply to a government appointed ID issuer before 20th May 2019. 

Retailers will have no obligation to scan or track tobacco products that they receive in-store. The supplier only has the requirement to scan cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco out of depot.

Do I need to have more than one code?


Retailers must have an Economic Operator Identifier Code to register their business AND a Facility Identifier Code to register each of their stores or premises which stores tobacco. 

If you have multiple stores you should make sure that each store has its own Facility Identifier Code. If you have multiple stores and only have one Facility Identifier Code, you are in breach of the regulations. 

Can wholesalers apply for identifier codes on behalf of retailers?

Third parties, including wholesalers, can apply for the Economic Operator Identifier Code and Facility Identifier Code(s) on behalf of independent retailers. However, it is up to each wholesaler to determine whether they will offer this service to their customers and it is still the retailer’s responsibility to ensure that they have their identifier codes. Regardless of who applies for the code, retailers can trade with any wholesaler to purchase tobacco.

Application Process FAQs

How can I apply for my codes?

To obtain the codes, retailers must apply to the government appointed ID issuer, De La Rue, before 20th May 2019.

Retailers can apply for their identifier codes on De La Rue’s (government appointed ID issuer) website:

How do I log in to apply for my Facility Identifier Code(s)?

Once you have received your Economic Operator Identifier Code email. You need to apply for your Facility Identifier Codes. You can do this by logging into the De La Rue web portal.

To log in, return to the De La Rue website ( and click forgot your password. This will set your password for the first time. Once you have reset your password you can login to the web portal. Please note: the user identifier field on the login form is for your email address.

How much will it cost to apply for an Economic Operator Identifier Code and Facility Identifier Codes?

There are no fees to obtain an Economic Operator Identifier Code or Facility Identifier Code(s).

More Information About Track and Trace

What is track and trace?

From 20th May 2019, tobacco manufacturers will be required to provide unique identifier codes on cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products.

Cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco must also be tracked through the supply chain. This means that distributors, wholesalers and retailers with distribution centres will be required to scan these products in and out of their warehouses.

When retailers are purchasing cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco with unique identifier codes, they will be required to have an Economic Operator Identifier Code and a Facility Identifier Code so that the supplier can track the business and store that those products are moving to.

Is it just manufacturers and wholesalers that are required to scan products? What do I need to do if I move tobacco products from one of my stores to another?

Retailers will have no obligation to scan or track tobacco products that they receive in-store.

The last movements that must be tracked is the sale from the manufacturer/wholesaler to the first retail outlet (to the first premises that sells directly to the consumer) when cigarette and hand-rolling tobacco products departs the warehouse or delivery vehicle.

This means that retailers will have no obligation to scan or track movements of their stock between stores in the same business.

I store/distribute tobacco products within my business, what do I need to do?

If retailers store (at a different address to their shops) or distribute tobacco products within their business or sell cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco to other businesses, they will need to obtain equipment to record the movement of these products. The tobacco industry are responsible for providing the equipment and have appointed a third party provider ‘SGS’ to act as the single point of contact. To find out more information, such as how to work out what equipment is needed and how to obtain it, visit the SGS website at:

What happens if I don’t comply?

If a retailer does not have an Economic Operator Identifier Code and a Facility Identifier Code from 20th May 2019, they will not be able to purchase tobacco.

If retailers have identifier codes but breach their regulations, they could lose their ability to purchase tobacco. The government are currently proposing that the following circumstances of how a retailer 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
  • has deliberately provided false information in an application to the UK ID Issuer for an identifier code 

Where can I get more information?

HMRC published information ( in January about how the upcoming regulations will affect retailers selling and storing tobacco products. The guidance also includes information for wholesalers which covers recording sales, scanning tobacco products and aggregating unit packs.