The draft regulations have been set out to amend the Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. It aims to apply the obligations resulting from the Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol into law
The draft differentiates how some things will be done in Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period and sets out requirements for new products notification.
Changes are being made to the fees payable by producers when reporting information about their products in order to account for the amendments to the requirements for notifying in Northern Ireland.
The government says that these amendments will ensure tobacco control legislation continues to work effectively after the end of the Implementation Period. The Tobacco Products Directive (‘TPD’) requires EU Member States to introduce advertising restrictions for e-cigarette products (nicotine inhaling products) and regulates the following areas for tobacco products, herbal products for smoking and e-cigarette products:
- product standards (such as ingredients and emissions);
- packaging; and
- notification requirements prior to the placement of products on the market
The government plans on continuing to apply the TPD to Northern Ireland following the transition period, meaning a real threat of a flavour ban and whatever else gets thrown up by the TPD3 process unless advocacy organisations manage to sway opinions and voting intentions at a European level.
There is the distinct possibility that plain packaging for vape products could be imposed in Northern Ireland.
The government says: “The implementation of the Protocol will result in two separate notification system processes for Great Britain and Northern Ireland for tobacco and related products, the Tobacco Products and Herbal Products for Smoking (Fees) Regulations 2017 and Electronic Cigarettes etc(Fees) Regulations 2016 are being amended to reflect that if a producer notifies via both the Northern Irish and Great British systems, they are only required to pay one fee. If a producer wishes to notify in relation to placing products on just one of the markets, the same one fee will be payable.”
The legislation will allow goods to move freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but this is subject to products conforming to the tobacco picture warning requirements.
The government adds: “After the end of the TP, tobacco and e-cigarette products being sold in NI will be required to be notified to the EU Common Entry Gate system in line with the EU TPD. This instrument removes the requirement for NI to use a UK domestic notification system to notify tobacco and e-cigarette products.”
More detailed guidance around the specifics in the notification requirements are planned to be available during late Autumn.
- The Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 – [link]