New checks on tobacco track and trace codes introduced

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The HMRC has introduced new checks on the tobacco track and trace codes given to businesses.

Effective from yesterday (3 May), the retailers have two months to ensure they are registered properly for the track and trace system and rectify any issues.

Businesses are provided with an economic operator ID and facility IDs for each premise they use to sell or store tobacco products, including vending machines. Over the next eight weeks, any codes that aren’t recognised by the track and trace system will generate a warning, giving businesses time to investigate the issue with the ID Issuer.

The eight-week grace period runs till 27 June.

At the end of the grace period, messages containing codes that fail the new checks will generate an error message. Retailers that receive an error message must take action to correct the error before continuing to move tobacco products through the supply chain.

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, commented: “We have worked extensively with HMRC to support retailers with the implementation of the tobacco track and trace system since its introduction in 2019, and we hope that this is another step toward only legitimate businesses being involved in the tobacco supply chain.”

“We welcome the eight week grace period, which should give businesses time to investigate any issues with their codes.”