UK Set For Tobacco Packaging Upheaval Following Brexit?

Stuart Pritchard August 24, 2018

The UK will not be able to use EU-copyrighted graphical photographic images after Brexit

Mike Ridgway of the Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance (CPMA), states that, according to reports contained within the latest Government planning papers relating to a non-Brexit deal with Brussels, a complete upheaval is possible when it comes to tobacco packaging as the UK will be unable to use the EU copyrighted graphical photographic images that currently appear on packs and pouches indicating the dangers of smoking.

Ridgway says that the technical papers issued by HM Government from the Department for Exiting the European Union indicated that the medically approved photos are ‘owned’ by the EU, meaning that the UK will be required to provide new ones for the graphical warnings. The photos covering a large part of the packaging were imposed by the EU-Tobacco Products Directive which came in to force in May last year.

In addition, Mike Ridgway said: “We have already seen the ‘Anniversary of the Failure’ of the plain packaging this year in May, as the legislation has not achieved any appreciable decline in smoking levels or the original health objectives set out. Instead there has been an upward trend in the illicit tobacco trade which has seen increases in the seizures of counterfeit cigarette products across the UK.

“It would now be an ideal time, following the UK’s departure from the EU, to ditch plain packaging which has had a detrimental effect on the packaging industry and the country as whole by encouraging the trade in illegal products.”