Retailers are being reminded that there is just one more week to go until the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Regulations and Tobacco Products Directive’s sell through period ends.
Convenience retailers must ensure that all of their stock is compliant with the new regulations from May 20 2017. This means that they must only sell tobacco with standardised packaging, packs of 20, a minimum weight of 30g RYO tobacco and unflavoured products, excluding menthol cigarettes.
The cut off period also applies to e-cigarettes so retailers must only sell e-cigs with a health warning, a maximum of 20mg/ml of nicotine unless they are licensed as medicines, refills with a maximum size of 10ml and disposable e-cigs, cartridges and tanks with a maximum size of 2ml.
Kay Patel, who owns six Best-one stores in East London, said: “We have mostly sold through all of our coloured packs and 10-packs all apart from a few stragglers. I expect those to be bought before the deadline, but if not then we have been told by the tobacco companies that they will be able to swap them over.
“At first customers were confused and upset over the changes but now it has sunk in and we don’t have to tell them anymore, they all know that the change is happening. I think the regulations have been clearly communicated by the tobacco companies and the NFRN which has helped make it a smooth process on the retailer’s side.”
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has produced comprehensive guidance for retailers on the upcoming changes to tobacco retailing coming into force as part of the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive and Standardised Packaging legislation.
The guide has recently been added to the successful Assured Advice scheme, which ensures that your store procedures must be respected by all local enforcement officers including environmental health, police and trading standards.
The full guidance can be downloaded on the ACS website: www.acs.org.uk/advice/tobacco/