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Tobacco Counterfeits

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when his Department will reach a decision on the introduction of an anti-counterfeiting scheme for tobacco products in the UK; (95709)

(2) what technological solutions he has examined for the purpose of tackling the trade in counterfeit and smuggled tobacco.

HM Revenue and Customs have been working closely with the tobacco manufacturing industry to examine a range of practical measures that could be implemented to tackle counterfeit tobacco products, such as covert pack markings.

However, this is a complex area and the options need careful consideration before any decisions can be taken.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has discussed with the Secretary of State for Health the potential implications of the proposed change in minimum age for the sale of tobacco for the smuggled tobacco trade. (95711)

Ministers and officials from HMRC and the Treasury have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

HM Revenue and Customs take a tough approach to tobacco smuggling and at Budget 2006 published “New responses to new challenges: Reinforcing the Tackling Tobacco Strategy”. This includes a range of measures designed to tackle illicit activity through targeted action at all points along the supply chain— from overseas production and sourcing of tobacco products to UK distribution networks.