The suspension will remain in force until a British stand-alone system is introduced.

September 11, 2019
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Track and Trace to be Suspended in Event Of No Deal Brexit

Britain’s freshly-implemented Track and Trace system for tobacco products will be suspended if a no-deal Brexit goes ahead, HMRC confirmed last week.

The Track and Trace system, which continues to be a direct requirement of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, is likely to be suspended for 12 months should the UK depart the European Union on October 31 under ‘no deal’ circumstances. The suspension will remain in force until a British stand-alone system is introduced.

What is Track and Trace?

Track and Trace legislation is still relatively new, only introduced as a compulsory measure on May 20, 2019. The system requires retailers across Britain to apply for unique codes. These codes are constructed of an ‘Economic Operator Code’ registered to their business and a ‘Facility Identifier Code’ for each of their stores. This information is required in order to purchase new compliant tobacco items.

‘If we have to suspend the Track and Trace system following a no-deal EU exit, we are fully committed to restarting a UK system as quickly as possible with the minimum changes necessary to give the UK full regulatory control,’ an HMRC spokesman told Convenience Store UK.

‘If we leave the EU with  a deal, the Track and Trace system will continue in its current format.’

The ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) is now in the process of seeking assurance from HMRC that retailers won’t be required to endure the application process for a second time.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman explained: ‘Retailers have spent a significant amount of time, effort and resource to get the codes they need to be compliant with the track and trace regulations’.

For more retail news, check out The Retail Data Partnership news page.

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