Chances are you've not heard of the TPD (officially known as Tobacco Products Directive) but it is something we at Bull Brand are incredibly familiar with this piece of legislation. The reason we're raising it is that the latest directives are tightening up the import and sale of tobacco-based products, from cigarettes to traditional pipe tobacco, it's all being affected. We've been planning for this latest raft of legislation but even with all our preparation, we are now experiencing low stock levels of some products which we expect to resolve in the next few weeks.
However, we thought we'd explain what the TPD is and how it impacts our industry.
What is the Tobacco Products Directive?
The idea of strengthening the 2001 TPD came around back in 2007. After around a long consultation period, the directive was finalised in 2014 and the latest iteration came into force in May 2019.
This legislation regulates the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products in the European Union (EU). It lays down a set of rules for cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarillos (short and slim cigars), smokeless tobacco, Roll-Your-Own tobacco, and also E-Cigarettes. The objective of the latest swathe of rules is to track and trace tobacco products – down to each individual product (eg single pouch of pipe tobacco) throughout the entire supply chain.
All parties involved in the supply of tobacco between the manufacturer and the end retailer, (as well as everyone in between) have to follow the regulations. A database will track and allow traceability of every product, this has meant that organisations, like Bull Brand, have had to register to obtain an Economic Operator ID as well as registering for Facilities ID. As tobacco products are moved they must be scanned with the data input into the national databases, this has meant that a high level of investment in technology has been required in order to manage this. Bull Brand have been working tirelessly in order to ensure we're up to scratch.
As a consumer, there's really no impact on you, in fact, the traceability will further protect you from counterfeit goods, however, this has never been a problem with Bull Brand products.
Whilst the TPD isn't enforceable until May 2020, organisations must be adhering to the protocols already. This investment in time, planning and technology by Bull Brand has ensured we're compliant but not everyone has been as prepped as us. Our suppliers have also been on the ball and we're expecting that we'll be back up to a normal supply by the end of August. We're expecting other companies to get a little left behind as they play catch up with the laws.
You're in safe hands with Bull Brand, we've got you covered, our supplies have been secured and while we expect a small bump in some stock levels we'll be back to normal before you can say 'light up'.