New punishment for trafficking cigarettes without labeling

#industry news

The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation has prepared a bill on the introduction of criminal liability for the production, purchase, storage and transportation for the sale of large quantities of cigarettes or nicotine-containing products without labeling. The document was posted on June 18 on the portal of draft normative legal acts.

The bill proposes amendments to one of the articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Criminal liability is currently provided only for the production, storage and sale of tobacco and nicotine-containing products without excise stamps. However, such products must also be marked with identification tools.

"The current legislation establishes administrative responsibility for the production and turnover of tobacco products, tobacco or nicotine—containing products without labeling and (or) without applying information provided for by law," the explanatory note to the document says.

At the same time, as the authors of the bill note, the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation showed that the number of such acts increased significantly from 2020 to 2023. If in 2020 830 violations related to the absence of excise stamps were registered, in 2023 there were already 1172 such acts.

According to the authors of the initiative, amendments to the relevant article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation will contribute to the prevention of crimes related to the production and trafficking of tobacco and nicotine-containing products without labeling by means of identification.

As previously reported by the Parliamentary Newspaper, from July 1, alcoholic cocktails with a strength of no more than nine percent will be labeled with such means. So far, this will be done as part of an experiment, and a voluntary one at that. It will last until the end of August 2025. According to the Government of the Russian Federation, labeling of such products will allow us to work out optimal technologies for applying identification means to goods.