(2) what success criteria and targets have been agreed with the tobacco industry for industry performance against the voluntary agreement to introduce a covert anti-counterfeit mark to all UK tobacco products as announced in the 2007 Budget;
(3) when he expects his Department to review the voluntary agreement made with the tobacco industry on introducing a covert anti-counterfeit mark to all UK tobacco products as announced in the 2007 Budget.
The four largest tobacco manufacturers representing over 97 per cent. of the UK cigarette market intend to introduce the anti-counterfeit security technology.
The voluntary agreement with the tobacco industry will enable enforcement officials to identify counterfeit product quickly and easily.
Time scales for the introduction of the technology have been agreed with the tobacco manufacturers. All cigarette packs intended for the UK duty paid market manufactured from October 2007 will incorporate the technology, and all packs of hand-rolling tobacco manufactured from October 2008, at the latest, will also incorporate the technology.
The results of enforcement activity will be continually monitored by HMRC, to inform understanding of the threat posed by counterfeit penetration in the retail sector, and HMRC will also continue to examine technologies that could help to counter the trade in illicit tobacco products.