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EUROPE

EU’s T&T to be fully functional in a year

13 May 2019. The EU tobacco track and trace system is expected to be fully functional within a one year after its official deadline on 20 May 2019, according to a statement from a European Commission official, Euractiv reported.

Critics have highlighted a number of inadequacies in the system which could result in delays and market disruption, Euractiv reported. This includes EU member states not taking the necessary steps to implement the trace and trace system.

According to the EU spokesperson, one of the biggest challenges is the delayed appointment of ID issuers in member states, Euroactiv reported. The tobacco product directive (TPD) requires member states to appoint an “ID issuer”, which is responsible for generating and issuing unique identifier codes to be applied to unit packets. However, the EU official mentioned to the media outlet that the absence of one or more ID issuers in member states would only be temporary issue.

In order to deal with this problem in the meantime, the EU executive issued an Authorisation Decision which permits “economic operators in the tobacco supply chain to use the services of a functioning operator in another member state on a temporary basis,” Euractiv reported.

“Obviously the full potential of the traceability system will be achieved once the retail outlets are properly registered and the supply chain cleaned from any legacy products introduced before the system’s launch date. The latter will take place in maximum one year from the launch when the provision on exhaustion of stocks ends,” the EU official was quoted as saying.