Next year, Articles 15 and 16 of the Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council will be transposed in the Member States of the European Union, in accordance with which a trans-European tracking and tracing system of tobacco products is implemented as from 20 May 2019.
Article 15 of the Directive establishes the obligation of traceability of unit packets of tobacco products, pursuant to which all unit packets of tobacco products have to be marked with a unique alpha-numeric identification code.
Article 16 of the Directive establishes the obligation to affix a security feature to all unit packets of tobacco products. Each Member State of the European Union is required, by 20 September 2018 at the latest, to communicate to manufacturers and importers of tobacco products the combination or combinations of authentication elements that are to be used in security features applied to unit packets of tobacco products from 20 May 2019.
This communication is intended to inform all the manufacturers and importers of tobacco products of the security features that will be taken into use in Estonia.
- Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, articles 15 and 16
- Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/573, on key elements of data storage contracts to be concluded as part of a traceability system for tobacco products
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/574, on technical standards for the establishment and operation of a traceability system for tobacco products
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/576, on technical standards for security features applied to tobacco products
- Tobacco Act of the Republic of Estonia
- Regulation of the Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Estonia of 14 June 2020 No. 31
Use of tax stamps as security feature
In Estonia tax stamps are used as a security feature. The Estonian state and manufacturers of tax stamps have to ensure that tax stamps comply with the requirements of the tracking and tracing system of tobacco products. This means that the tobacco products which are subject to revenue stamping pursuant to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act automatically carry the proper security feature.
Tobacco products not subject to revenue stamping
Manufacturers or importers of tobacco products have to affix their own security features to the unit packets of the tobacco products which have to carry a security feature but according to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act are not subject to revenue stamping. Security features of manufacturers and importers of tobacco products need approval by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board before they can be taken into use.
Manufacturers and importers have to ensure that their security features meet the requirements of the tracking and tracing system of tobacco products:
- the security feature is affixed to each unit packet of a tobacco product;
- the security feature must compose of no less than five types of authentication elements, including at least oneovert, one semi-covert and one covert element;
- at least one of the five authentication elements of a security feature must be provided by an independent third-party service provider meeting the requirements set with the tracking and tracing system of tobacco products;
- the authentication elements of a security feature may include any of the overt, semi-covert and covert types of authentication elements provided in the Annex of the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/576;
- security features are applied to unit packets by means of affixing, printing or combination of these methods.
This communication applies to cigarettes and tobacco for cigarettes that consumers make themselves (roll-your-own tobacco).
"Systems for tobacco traceability and security features" – the webpage of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission