Page 8

W

here Do We stand

In a Post-TPD World?

Paul Barnes, Trustee at NNA delivers an

20th May 2016 - has come and gone, 19

incisive, State of the Union style commentary

Member States didn’t have a domestic

on the effectiveness of the revised TPD.

implementation for the Directive. This isn’t particularly unusual as transposition of

December 19th 2012. The beginning of the

EU Directives is often delayed by national

revision to the EU wide Tobacco Products

matters, Spain is the prime example of how

Directive. Agreed by the Council of the

a lack of substantive Government can lead to

European Union in 2013 and later passed

delays.

with few amendments by the European Parliament in April 2014.

Those “good pupil” Member States that have met the deadline have a broad array of

For those who were heavily involved during

measures. Some, like the UK have decided

that period from proposal to final agreement,

on a liberal approach to the Directive in an

changing minds to be less restrictive towards

effort to keep e-cigarettes available, albeit in

the humble electronic cigarette was often

a limiting way. The obvious limits are the 2ml

met with hostility rather than curiosity. The

tanks and 10ml refills which, while irritating

evidence base that we enjoy now just wasn’t

for most vapers, is seen as a “necessary

available to sway even the most curious.

precaution” by those in charge.

Fast forward to implementation. Where do

The not so obvious limits include medicinal

the various EU Member States stand now?

regulation only. The UK opted to keep both

Has the revised Tobacco Products Directive

routes open - licensed medicinal products

achieved any of its aims? Does it, as per the

aren’t subject to the same level of VAT, and

introductory statements, facilitate the smooth

there’s a wider range of available strengths

functioning of the internal market?

(20mg/ml and above).

Sadly, the answer is a resounding “no”. As

It isn’t just the route to market that poses

with a wide array of EU Directives, it is entirely

a problem for retailers. Some of the gold-

up to the individual Member State on how

plating in domestic legislation, such as the

to implement that Directive into domestic

implementation from Hungary for example,

legislation. Some, like the UK, implement the

includes measures that prevent cross-

bare minimum, while others decide that the

border and internet sales - both buying as

bare minimum isn’t sufficient and so adds

a consumer and selling as a retailer. Austria,

additional - often unnecessary - gold plating.

Germany, Poland and Slovenia have all taken a similar stance to distance and online selling.

As the official implementation date -

8 - TPD

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