Tobacco packaging – new track and trace rules

On 20th May 2019 new rules set into force in the EU for marking packaging of cigarette and related products. Every pack should be labeled with an individual ID code to combat illegal sales (smuggled cigarettes). On the first stage the revised EU directive on the traceability of tobacco products relates to hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes. Later on the new rules will be applied to all the rest of tobacco products (20 May 2024). Every tobacco and cigarette pack should be labeled with an individual ID code (QR Code, Data matrix code) and anti- counterfeiting features. More data should be stored on the tobacco packaging and through the control / regulatory authorities these data can be transmitted and verified through the central European database.

According to the Implementing Regulation 2018/574 each Member State is obliged to appoint an entity responsible for generating and issuing the unique identifiers and to notify the Commission of the appointment of the ID issuer and of its identification code within one month of its appointment.

This implementing regulation lays down rules on the competent ID issuers for generating and issuing unique identifiers depending on where the products are manufactured, imported or aggregated. Furthermore, a Member State may require that its appointed ID issuer is competent for generating and issuing unique identifiers for all tobacco products placed on its market.

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