Since July 1, Russia introduced mandatory labeling of all tobacco products. According to the authors of the idea, unified monitoring system of nicotine-containing products will allow you to track the movement of the goods from the factory to the counter, and reduce the amount of tobacco counterfeiting. Independent experts believe that the new requirements are leading to an increase in the proportion of counterfeit tobacco in the domestic market, not save the population from the harmful addiction to tobacco.

in Fact, the duty to apply new digital labelling on the packaging of cigarettes and cigarettes containing data on goods entering the wholesale and retail turnover, as well as its movement from manufacturer to retail outlets, were introduced exactly a year ago — July 1, 2019. Now the same rule extended on all tobacco products, including cigars and loose tobacco.

it would Seem that legislative changes can be considered minor and not threatening to seriously hurt the pockets of smokers, which in our country there are up to 40% of the total population. The cost of the labeling in the first place, was to lie on the shoulders of the tobacco factories that were prepared to advance innovations and introduced additional costs in the final cost of their products. Note that the requirements for the label to fully also apply to foreign tobacco products supplied to the Russian market. However, the share of imported tobacco in Russia, according to official figures, does not exceed 2% of the total market.

however, The new labeling rules have led to higher prices of tobacco products, which in Russia from January 1 increased almost 15%. According to the calculations of industry experts, today in our country the average price of a legal pack of cigarettes exceeds 115 rubles, of which more than half is accounted for excise duties and VAT. At the same time, as pointed out by research Agency Nielsen, the share of counterfeit, despite the increase in prices and the investment of manufacturers in the modernization of pipelines to reduce the share of illegal goods in Russia over the past year has almost doubled, from 8.4% to 15.6%.

it is Known that the main channel of tobacco smuggling, which continues to fill the domestic market, is non-certified products entering Russia through the “transparent” borders of our neighbors on the Eurasian economic Union: Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“due to mandatory labeling retail cost of a pack of cigarettes any price range can rise by 5-10% — sure IAC a senior analyst “Alpari” Anna Bodrov. — However, while the state monitors the movement of goods from the producer to the consumer somewhere in a remote corner of Russia, suppliers and retailers will have to pass a dizzying quest for the introduction of services on the labeling of goods. In the end we won again the state, which tracks production and turnover, as well as building a useless, but costly and highly intelligent analytical database. At the same time, the range of “Smoking” products on store shelves becomes “grayer” and less and more expensive.”

experts believe that the indiscriminate labeling of tobacco products is introduced by the authorities to increase the tax base. However, not the fact that this goal will be achieved. Plus, tracking the tobacco of the ways “big brother” was unlikely to reduce the number of domestic smokers. Moreover, many regional store owners, especially in small towns, will prefer the wholesale purchase of counterfeit (and therefore cheaper) products, sales of which risks rise significantly. “If the major domestic producers and sellers of tobacco products have long implemented a system of product labeling and can be excluded from their range of falsification, small retail outlets will expand this practice. To fight for strengthening the nation’s health need not by prohibitive measures and enhance fiscal charges, and by providing affordable alternatives,” says the Executive Director of the all-Russian movement for the rights of smokers Andrew rags.