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Parliamentary question - P-005594/2018(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the European Commission

1. The EU traceability system for tobacco products established under the Tobacco Products Directive[1] (TPD) is fully compliant with the World Health Organisation Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, FCTC Protocol).

The EU was involved in negotiating the FCTC Protocol, adopted in 2012. The FCTC Protocol (in particular Article 8) was taken into account when the EU adopted its system in 2014. The EU system, which will be in place by 20 May 2019, is based on Article 15 TPD and complemented by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/574 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/573 adopted in December 2017, which following the positive scrutiny of the latter act by the co-legislators entered into force on 6 May 2018.

Member States' competent authorities and the Commission exercise full control over this system. Several measures ensure the full compliance with the FCTC Protocol, notably: independent generation of unique identifiers, independent storage of traceability data with real time visibility for enforcement purposes, as well as high density and standardisation of reporting events in terms of time and content. The Commission sees no reason to introduce any changes to the design of the EU system.

2. Member States have unanimously supported the ratification of the Protocol by the EU, for matters falling under EU competence. As for matters falling under national competence, to date 11 Member States have ratified the Protocol. There are national procedures ongoing in the remaining Member States.

The Commission regularly organises meetings with national experts to support the Member States in ratifying and implementing the Protocol.

Last updated: 7 January 2019
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