Clock ticks on tobacco dealer compliance

| 15/12/2010

(CNS): With the remaining provisions of the Tobacco Law coming into effect on 1 January 2011 tobacco dealers must register by 31 December 2010 in order to continue operating legally. So far 112 retailers, five wholesale distributors and two cigar bars have registered to sell tobacco products officials said Wednesday. Health officials have also given traders an extension until March next year to comply with the part of the law that requires health warnings to cover 30% of the display and packaging. Importers are being urged not to import anymore tobacco products that don’ comply with the law.

According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License). Healthcare facilities, educational institutions and recreational facilities are not eligible to trade in tobacco products.
“Unless registered, it is illegal to operate as a tobacco dealer,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said.

A one-off non-refundable application fee of $100 applies, while yearly registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor. Although some provisions of the Tobacco Law such as banning smoking in public places went into effect on 31 December 2009, other provisions were delayed to give businesses ample time to get to know them.

Tobacco dealers also are reminded that all tobacco products on sale must have a clear and graphic health warning that covers at least 30 percent of the display area. “Wholesale distributors have requested an exemption until 31 March 2011 to allow for the sale of existing tobacco products which do not meet the requirements of health warnings on the packaging, to which I have agreed,” said Dr. Kiran Kumar.

While granting a concession to dealers, Dr. Kumar urged dealers not to import anymore products that do not meet the requirements under the Tobacco Law.

In addition to new packaging and display requirements, the Tobacco Law also bans the sale of single cigarettes. Cigars, however, can be sold as single units when placed in a plastic bag with a health warning on it or accompanied with a printed health warning in a clear plastic bag.

Application forms for tobacco dealers’ registration as well as copiesof the Tobacco Law and Regulations are available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital. These documents are also online at www.gis.ky For more information call Annadurai Richards at 244-2621 or 244-2648.
 

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