Philip Morris International (PMI) filed for judicial review of the revised European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), saying the ban on menthol cigarettes and limits on use of packaging will disrupt the EU internal market.
Papers filed with a British court ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to review the successor to the 2001 TPD approved earlier this year. A review of TPD2 would take two or three years, PMI said in a statement issued from its operational headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
PMI also is challenging powers delegated by TPD2 to the European Commission to further tighten restrictions if the situation warrants. The revised and enlarged TPD went to the 28 EU member states in May for incorporation into national law. Implementation is supposed to begin in May, 2016. More time is allotted for measures such as removing menthol flavoured cigarettes from EU markets.
“The Directive claims to improve the internal market in tobacco products, but its provisions go in the opposite direction. The Directive includes a mix of product bans, mandates, and delegations of authority that raise serious questions under the EU treaties about consumer choice, the free movement of goods, and competition,” said Marc Firestone, general counsel for PMI.
“There is no disagreement that there should be strict regulation of tobacco products, but measures need to make sense and, above all, honour the EU treaties. We very much hope that this matter is referred to the EU’s highest court for a careful, objective review,” Firestone said.