The European system of tobacco traceability and security features operational as of today
The European system of tobacco traceability and security features has become operational today. The first producers in the EU have requested and received traceability markings for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products. This means that consumers will soon see new traceability markings on the packs, together with the required security features. The markings will enable national authorities to track and trace the movements of these packs across the legal supply chain in the EU. While today is the legal launch date, the EU-wide system for tobacco traceability already started its operations on 10 May 2019. Over the past days, economic operators (producers, distributors, shop owners etc.) across the EU have begun to register themselves, and their facilities in the system. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "The establishment of the European system of tobacco traceability and security features marks an important milestone in the EU's fight against illicit trade in tobacco products. This has been an extremely ambitious project, against a very tight timeline set by the co-legislators, and I am therefore especially pleased to see that the systems have started working. I would like to thank all actors involved who helped to make this happen, and I count on their continuous efforts in the initial days and weeks ahead of us, in order to ensure that this project is a success both for our Member States and the EU as a whole." Member States are responsible for the establishment of an entity in charge of issuing the new traceability markings (“ID issuer”) and they have made substantial progress over the past months to issue these markings. The Commission is aware that one Member State has not yet been able to deliver on this obligation but, in the meantime, to enable the start of the system on time, the Commission adopted a decision authorizing economic operators to use the ID issuer services of other Member States. The Commission is monitoring the situation carefully and will use all means at its disposal to ensure the system is fully operational across all Member States as soon as possible. A MEMO is available.