Impact Assessment and Revision Process of the European Commission on a New Regulation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)
As expected, on 19 December 2012, the European Commission adopted its proposal for the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive and submitted it to the European Parliament and the Council for further deliberations.
An internal commission consultation and an impact assessment process of several years’ duration conducted under the auspices of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) preceded the adoption of the draft directive by the European Commission.
According to the criteria of the assessment process (Impact Assessment) for the TPD, various trade-related policy options under the section “sales arrangements / access to tobacco products” were examined and evaluated by DG SANCO. The spectrum of policy options pre-defined by DG SANCO with respect to this trade-related section ranged from “No Changes” to extreme requirements, such as a general EU-wide ban on cigarette vending machines and a general ban on the display of tobacco products at points of sale (display ban).
During this review process for a new EU TPD, initial negotiations and discussions between representatives of the Commission and its agencies and representatives of “Health” NGOs, the Tobacco Value Chain (with the participation of ETV, among others) as well as the pharmaceutical industry took place in October 2010 in Brussels.
Meeting with stakeholders (Tobacco Value Chain) on the study “Assessing the Impacts of Revising the Tobacco Products Directive” prepared by RAND Europe, Brussels, 19-20 October 2010
The discussions with NGOs and with the tobacco value chain continued throughout the years 2011 and 2012. On the initiative of E.T.V., a meeting of the two European trade associations E.T.V and CEDT (tobacco retail organization) with senior officials of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers took place on 12 January, 2012 in Brussels.
In the context of these discussions and the comments and data analysis additionally furnished by the European associations of the tobacco value chain, the European Commission stressed that these would carefully be examined within the scope of the impact assessment and would be considered within the overall assessment of the individual policy options for regulations proposed by the Commission.
Further to the meeting on 12 January 2012 , the E.T.V. has also submitted in writing a short summary of its positions on an EU-wide regulation of cigarette vending machines to the Directorate General for Health and Consumers.
Upon the invitation of the then Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, a further panel discussion on revising the Tobacco Products Directive took place on 7 March 2012 with representatives of the European organizations. The E.T.V. attended this meeting in Brussels in the person of its president Paul Heinen.
According to the European Commission, all analyzes and all relevant results of this assessment process and legal reviews were included in the final report on the impact assessment.
In this final report on the impact assessment, the European Commission stated that:
“A number of additional policy areas were considered at an earlier stage of the impact assessment, but these were subsequently rejected.
… the approximation of Member States’ legislations on Tobacco Vending Machines (TVM) was considered in the impact assessment process and public consultation. This policy area was discarded given subsidiarity concerns and taking into account the already good progress in this area following the Council Recommendation 2003/54 and the FCTC provisions and guidelines.
… the approximation of Member States’ legislations in the area of tobacco display at point of sale (PoS) was considered in the impact assessment process and the public consultation. Also this policy area was discarded due to subsidiarity concerns as well as the limited support from Member States at this point in time.”
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