ACS: Tobacco Track and Trace Timetable Still Unknown

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Government’s latest consultation on tobacco track and trace regulations, reiterating concerns about the short lead times for implementation.

The consultation asks for views on the enforcement activity that will be introduced to police the track and trace system. In addition to concerns on the timeframes, ACS’ submission seeks clarification on the process for deactivation of identifier codes (which would effectively stop a retailer from selling tobacco in their business) if the regulations are breached.

Under the proposals, retailers could lose their economic operator identifier code (which covers the whole business, not just the premises) if they have done any of the following:

  • 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

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The introduction of track and trace will place a number of demands on retailers and it is important that HMRC urgently addresses the uncertainty around compliance with these regulations. While we welcome HMRC consulting on enforcement activity, this discussion is taking place while the clock is ticking on the introduction of the regulations and we’re still yet to see any codes issued to retailers.

Security business De La Rue have confirmed that they have been appointed as the track and trace ID issuer, but HMRC are yet to publish any details on the application process for retailers, leaving less than three months for them to register their stores and distribution warehouses.

ACS has published guidance for retailers on what is currently known about the regulations here:

ACS’ submission to the consultation is available here.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 16:03