It is planned to supplement the state's measures to regulate the tobacco market with proposals not only for licensing the production and turnover of tobacco, state registration of tobacco factory equipment, but also for the seizure and destruction of illegal tobacco products, raw materials for their production and technological equipment on which they were released.
This was reported to Interfax by a source in one of the relevant departments. According to him, the relevant projects are planned to be considered at the next meeting of the government commission on legislative activity.
Thus, the draft law "On state regulation of the production and turnover of tobacco products, tobacco products, nicotine-containing products and raw materials for their production" developed by the Ministry of Finance provides for the introduction of licensing of production activities, putting into circulation when importing into Russia and decommissioning when exporting tobacco products and raw materials from the country, state registration of the main technological equipment for the production of this products and raw materials for it, as well as its conservation and deconservation. It also provides for the "withdrawal of tobacco products and raw materials from illicit trafficking with their subsequent destruction (disposal)."
It is also planned to consider at the meeting of the legal commission amendments to the Administrative Code, which establish responsibility for the production and turnover of tobacco products without a license and the use of equipment without state registration. The amendments also provide for the introduction of responsibility for the production and turnover of tobacco products by an individual.
Amendments have been prepared to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes "regarding the introduction of criminal liability for activities in the field of production and turnover of tobacco products without an appropriate license" and "regarding the disposal of seized material evidence in the form of tobacco products, semi-finished products, production, transport, consumer packaging (packaging), labels and basic technological equipment".
As the Ministry of Finance reported in June 2022, the already established system of state regulation and control of the alcohol market was used as a model for regulating the tobacco market. The new bill is aimed at reducing the volume of illegal products.
Since 2019, tobacco and nicotine-containing products have been marked with the means of identification of the "Chestny Znak" CDAT. The draft law suggests that the introduced state control will also be based on marking. In this system, the volume of production and turnover of products and raw materials will be recorded.
According to experts cited by the Ministry of Finance, the share of illegal tobacco products in Russia in 2016-2018 increased from 1.5% to 8%. In 2019, the trend towards an increase in illegal turnover continued: in the first quarter of 2019, the share of illegal tobacco products amounted to 10.3% (according to TNS Kantar). In 2020, its share decreased to 7%, but a significant role in slowing the growth of the illegal market was played by the closure of borders and the reduction of sales channels associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2019, the share of illegal tobacco products in the Russian market increased from 10.3% to 10.7%.