As part of its obligations as a signatory to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Government is obliged to consult on the implementation of licensing for tobacco product machinery and the possibility of licensing for tobacco vendors.

The consultation for the former was recently completed for which the summary of responses can be read here.

‘Tobacco Illicit Trade Protocol – licensing (or equivalent) of the supply chain – summary of responses’ was published on 6 November 2017, and summarised the responses received on possible licensing of the tobacco supply chain, and sets out the next steps. The report is available to view here

The Government response outlined in the report clearly states that a licensing scheme for retailers would not tackle illicit trade…


“The costs of a national HMRC administered licensing scheme aimed at tackling the illicit trade, particularly the positive licensing scheme advocated by many respondents from the health promotion and local authority sectors, appear to be disproportionate to the additional benefits which would accrue. It would also be burdensome for those businesses already registered under the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish health schemes to require them to apply for a second national registration for the sale of tobacco products.”
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For further information on FCTC Article 6 click here