For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 20 December 2013

EU Tobacco Product Directive- concluded negotiations on TPD

To follow up on Plain Packaging reported here and  here this year, on December 18 European Member States backed  in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER 1)  the final compromise text negotiated by the Lithuanian Presidency and the European Parliament on the Tobacco Product Directive.

Generic packaging?
Regarding labelling and packaging, the following measure are provided:
·        All cigarette and roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco products will display combined health warnings (picture and text) covering 65% of the front and the back of packages placed from top edge
·        Text warnings will be placed on the side of the packet (50%)
·        Certain pack types, like the 'lipstick' type, will no longer be allowed
·        There will be standardisation of certain aspects of cigarette packs and all promotional elements on tobacco packs as well as reference for example to taste or flavourings will be prohibited
·        Member States that want to introduce plain packaging can do it under the justifications and conditions provided for in the Directive.  
·        Reportedly, the prohibition of tobacco brands for electronic cigarettes is not in the final  text (meanimg the proposal from the European Parliament of October 2013 has then been rejected).

In any case,
Grumpy Cat disagrees
The political agreement reached will be subject to technical finalisation and formal approval by the co-legislators, i.e.: European Parliament, will be voted in March/April 2014 on the resolution and by Council.
 Publication of the final text can be expected in June 2014. Several EU Member States are  currently considering the plain packaging measure  (Ireland, UK, Scotland). MARQUES Regulatory team has submitted several joint papers and press releases between end of 2010 and October 2013 (more information here). 
Following the one year anniversary, data started to be reported on what effects are being seen in Australia, for example here and here, and the possible derived risks of implementing such legislation, in particular extending to other consumption goods such as infant formula must be closely watched.

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