The State Duma: amendments to the Criminal Code on tobacco without a license require study

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The issue of introducing a separate norm in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation providing for liability for the release of tobacco products without a license should be considered after evaluating the statistics of illegal tobacco trafficking. This opinion was expressed by the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation Daniil Bessarabov in an interview with TASS on Monday.

Earlier, RBC, citing sources and the press service of the Ministry of Finance, reported that the agency proposed to introduce criminal liability for the sale and production of counterfeit cigarettes.

"From the point of view of introducing an independent composition of criminal responsibility, I would like to delve into the issues, look at the statistical information that will be provided, the relevance and expediency of introducing an independent composition. Because we have a common position on illegal entrepreneurship (Article 171 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Illegal Entrepreneurship" - TASS note), which also implies activities without a license and criminal liability," the deputy said.

At present, illegal entrepreneurship is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.

At the same time, the deputy positively assessed the integrated approach of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation to regulating the sale of tobacco and nicotine-containing products. "We are talking about the fact that this is the production, supply, and import into the country of tobacco products themselves, nicotine-containing, and raw materials for their production, to restore order, tighten approaches and control. It is clear that the world's largest corporations are doing this, profiting from people, from problems with their health," Bessarabov added.

According to RBC, the draft laws "On Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation" and "On Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation" have been submitted for consideration by the government commission on legislative activity. The accompanying documentation to the laws prepared by the Ministry of Finance states that they are aimed at introducing state regulation of the production and turnover of tobacco products.