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Implementation Summary


Manufacturer level

Retail level ▼


October 1, 2012

December 1, 2012


May 20, 2016

January 1, 2017

United Kingdom

May 20, 2016

May 20, 2017

East Timor*

May 13, 2018

May 13, 2018

New Zealand

March 14, 2018

June 6, 2018


July 1, 2017

July 1, 2018


September 30, 2017

September 20, 2018


May 20, 2018

May 20, 2019


January 1, 2020

January 1, 2020

*The Ministerial Diploma making the requirements has been identified (see below) but confirmation of plain packs being sold is pending.

**In Hungary, new brands introduced to the market after August 19, 2017 must be in plain packs with some already on sale.


Laws adopted and in force (in date order for implementation at retailer level)

Australia —

  • December 1, 2011 Tobacco Plain Packaging Act adopted.
  • December 1, 2012 Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations came into force.[1]
  • Legal challenges: High Court constitutional challenge by tobacco industry dismissed August 2012[2];Investment treaty claim by Philip Morris dismissed December 2015[3]; World Trade Organization dispute panel ruling due in 2017[4] (media reports are that the interim award is in Australia’s favor[5]).

Legislation applies to all tobacco products.

France —

  • November 24, 2015 Legislation providing powers adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (Law n°2016-41).
  • March 22, 2016 Decree and Ministerial Order were published.
  • May 20, 2016 Decree came into force.[6]
  • Legal challenges: The Conseil Constitutionnel upheld the law in a decision on January 21, 2016[7]; the Conseil d’État dismissed six industry challenges in a decision given on December 23, 2016.[8]

Legislation applies to cigarettes and hand-roll tobacco. Old stock could be sold until January 1, 2017.

United Kingdom —

  • March 16, 2015 Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations adopted.
  • May 20, 2016 Regulations came into force[9] (applies to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). Legislation applies to cigarettes and hand-roll tobacco. Old stock could be sold until May 20, 2017.
  • Legal challenges: High Court challenge by tobacco industry dismissed May 2016[10]; ruling upheld by Court of Appeal November 2016.[11]

East Timor —

  • January 13, 2018 A Ministerial Diploma on the labelling of tobacco products, requires certain elements of plain packaging including that all surfaces not covered by health warnings are colored Gray Aluminum (RAL 9007) and that the brand or logo must be in white and only appear on the front outer surface (the Decree also stipulates new GHWs covering 100% of the back surface and 85% of the front surface). The Diploma came into force on May 13, 2018 (120 days after publication).[12]

New Zealand —

  • September 14, 2016 Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Act 2016[13] was given royal assent. A consultation ran from May to July 2016.[14] June 6, 2017 Smoke-free Environments Regulations 2017[15] adopted.
  • March 14, 2018 law came into force for manufacturers. Retailers will need to comply from June 6, 2018. Legislation applies to all tobacco products.
  • December 9, 2016 Parliament approved the bill to introduce plain packaging.[16] [17]
  • July 1, 2017 Detailed regulations came into force for manufacturers.[18]
  • Legal Challenges: Swedish Match issued court proceedings claiming that plain snus boxes are in conflict with the free trade principle under the EEA/EU agreement. The District Court dismissed the application on November 6, 2017.[20] Swedish Match filed an appeal on December 8, 2017. The appeal was dismissed on February 19, 2018.[21]
  • May 30, 2017 The President signed an amending law on Tobacco Control which included provisions for plain packaging Decree that must be implemented by January 1, 2018.[28] The law also required that the Decree containing detailed requirements must be adopted by July 1, 2017, but to date this has not occurred.
  • October 12, 2016 Parliament passed a law that implements the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and includes provisions that allow the Health Minister to introduce plain-packaging regulations.[29]
  • February 15, 2017 Parliament passed a tobacco control bill,[30] which implements the EU TPD and includes provisions for introducing uniform, no-brand packaging by January 1, 2020.
  • April 2, 2017 The Tobacco Products Control Act 2017 was gazetted which includes a provision (at Article 38) that allows the Minister to introduce regulations for plain packaging.[31] The law came into effect on July 4, 2017.

Norway —

Legislation applies to cigarettes, snus and hand-roll tobacco. Old stock of non-standardized packs can be sold until July 1, 2018.[19]

Ireland —

  • March 10, 2015 Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act[22] adopted (commenced March 29, 2017); the Act along with detailed regulations[23] came into effect on September 30, 2017.
  • Legal challenge: Claim by Japan Tobacco International in the Commercial Court struck out November 2016.[24]
  • August 16, 2016 Decree No. 239/2016 published.[25]
  • August 19, 2016 All new brands/variants must be in plain packaging (the first new brand appeared on the market in plain packaging in August 2017).
  • May 20, 2019 All existing brands must be in plain packaging.

Applies to all tobacco products. A 12-month sell through period for old stock is allowed.

Hungary —

Legislation applies to cigarettes and hand-roll tobacco.

Laws adopted but not yet in force* (in alphabetical order)

*Countries in this section need to adopt further regulations or decrees before implementation can take place.

Canada —

  • May 24, 2018 An act was adopted providing ministerial powers to implement plain packaging regulations.[26] This followed a public consultations from May to August 2016,[27] on the detailed proposals for plain packaging.

Georgia —

Romania —

Slovenia —

Thailand —

Legislation being considered by Parliament

Brazil — Five different plain packaging bills have been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives; the latest in May 2016 by Representative Rodrigues.[32]

Chile — A bill providing powers to introduce plain packaging was passed in the Senate in July 2015.[33] It remained inactive for 2 years. In October 2017 the Health Commission in the Chamber of Deputies approved the Bill and it is scheduled for further debate in the Agriculture Commission.[34]

Ecuador — A bill for plain packaging was introduced to the National Assembly on August 3, 2016,[35] and has subsequently been assigned to the health committee.

Panama — On January 2015, a bill was introduced to the National Assembly that would require plain packaging.[36] A sub-committee recommended it be removed making reference to the WTO TRIPS agreement, and no further action has since taken place.

Uruguay — On July 13, 2016, the Health Minister stated that plain packaging would be introduced in 2017 and that the law was being developed.[37] On October 30, 2017, the Heath Minister reported that a Bill had been approval by the Council of Minister and would be sent to Parliament. [38]

Other relevant laws

European Union — Revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) adopted April 3, 2014 and came into force on May 20, 2016 and which introduces some elements of pack standardization and provides (at Article 24(2)) that the 28 EU Member States have the option to adopt further requirements to standardize tobacco packaging.[39]


[1] Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011, available from: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00190.

Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011, available from: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013C00801.

[2] JT International SA v. Commonwealth of Australia [2012] HCA 43 (October 5, 2012) Judgment available from: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2012/43.html. The court’s decision was given in August 2012 with the reasoned judgment published on October 5, 2012.

[3] Philip Morris Asia Limited v. Commonwealth of Australia PCA Case 2012-02. All publicly available documents associated with the case are available from the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s case page: https://www.pcacases.com/web/view/5.

[4] Australia — Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging. Dispute numbers DS435, DS441, DS458 and DS467.

[5] Reported by Bloomberg. Available here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news....

[6] The implementing legislation that amends the Public Health Code is Decree No. 2016-1117 of August 11, 2016, on the manufacture, presentation, sale, and use of tobacco products. Available from: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/decret/2016/8/11/AFSP1612356D/jo.

The relevant parts of the public health code are available from:


The detail of the law is in Decree of March 21, 2016, on the conditions of neutrality and standardization for the packaging and paper of cigarettes and rolling tobacco. Available from: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000032276123&dateTexte=20170126.

[7] Décision n° 2015-727 DC du January 21, 2016. Judgment available from: http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/francais/les-decisions/acces-par-date/decisions-depuis-1959/2016/2015-727-dc/decision-n-2015-727-dc-du-21-janvier-2016.146887.html.

[8] CE, December 23, 2016, société JT International SA, Société d'exploitation industrielle des tabacs et des allumettes, société Philip Morris France SA et autres Judgment available from: http://www.conseil-etat.fr/Dec....

[9] The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. Available from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/829/contents/made.

[10] R (British American Tobacco & Ors) v. Secretary of State for Health [2016] EWHC 1169 (Admin). Available from: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/bat-v-doh.judgment.pdf.

[11] [2016] EWCA Civ 1182 (Appeal). Available from: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1182.html.

[12] The Jornal Da Republica publishing the Diploma Ministerial No 2/2018 is available here: http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/pu... . Confirmation of enforcement by the government is pending.

[13] Available from http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2016/0043/latest/DLM5821008.html.

[14] Available from: http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/standardised-tobacco-products-packaging-draft-regulations-consultation-may16_1.pdf.

[15] Available from: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2017/0123/latest/whole.html

[16] https://kreftforeningen.no/en/...

[17] Section 30 of the Tobacco Control Act 1973 as amended by the Amending Tobacco Act (implementation of Directive 2014/40/EC and Standardized tobacco packs). Available here: https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/2017-02-10-5/KAPITTEL_1-3?q=standardiserte#KAPITTEL_1-3.

[18] Amendments to the Regulations on content and labeling of tobacco products. Available from: https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2017-06-22-942?q=Tobakksskadeloven

[19] Regulation on transitional provisions to the Act of 10 February 2017 No. 5 amending the Law on March 9, 1973 No.14. Available from: https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2017-06-16-770?q=Tobakk

[20] Commercial Court Case No 17-110415TV-OBYF. Ruling available from: https://www.domstol.no/no/Enkelt-domstol/Oslo-byfogdembete/Aktuelt/staten-vant-sak-om-standard-forpakning-av-snus/

[21] Court of Appeal Case No 18-004746ASK-BORG/04. Ruling available from: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/microsites/plainpackaging/Norway_20180215_Ruling-SMvNorway_ENunoff.docx

[22] Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015. Available from:


[23] Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Regulations 2017. Available from:


[24] JTI v Minister for Health, Ireland and the Attorney General 2015/2530P.

[25] Decree No. 239/2016 Amending Government Decree 39/2013 of February 14, 2013 on the manufacture, placement on the market and control of tobacco products, combined warnings, and the detailed rules for the application of the health-protection fine. Available from:

http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/files/live/Hungary/Hungary%20-%20Decree%20No.%20239_2016%20-%20national.pdf and in English: http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/files/live/Hungary/Hungary%20-%20Regulation%20239_2016.pdf

[26] An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. Available here: http://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Bill=S5&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1

[27] Available here: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/tobacco-packages-emballages-produits-tabac/document-eng.php.

[28] Law No. 860-IIC Amending the Law on Advertising, approved by Parliament May 17, 2017, signed by President May 30, 2017.

Georgian: http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/files/live/Georgia/Georgia%20-%202017%20APS%20Amendments%20-%20national.pdf

[29] Law no. 201/2016 establishing the conditions for manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products, and related products and amending Law no. 349/2002 on preventing and combating the effects of tobacco products, text available from: http://lege5.ro/Gratuit/geztinjxga4q/legea-nr-201-2016-privind-stabilirea-conditiilor-pentru-fabricarea-prezentarea-si-vanzarea-produselor-din-tutun-si-a-produselor-conexe-si-de-modificare-a-legii-nr-349-2002-pentru-prevenirea-si-combate.

[30] Available from: http://imss.dz-rs.si/imis/601ce03a35a0d00c2a33.pdf.

[31] Available from: http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/files/live/Thailand/Thailand%20-%20TC%20Act%202017.pdf.

[32] Senate Bill 103/14 ( (introduced March 22, 2014, by Senator Rollemberg); Senate Bill 769/15 (introduced December 3, 2015, by Senator Serra); House Bill 1744/15 (introduced May 28, 2015, by Representative Perondi); House Bill 2360/15 (introduced July 14, 2015, by Representative Cortes); House Bill 5430/16 (introduced May 31, 2016, by Representative Rodrigues).

[33] Senate Bill https://www.camara.cl/pley/pley_detalle.aspx?prmID=9292&prmBoletin=8886-11

[34] Report available here: http://www.chilelibredetabaco.cl/2017/10/lobby-tabacalero-no-impidio-que-comision-de-salud-votara-a-favor-de-legislar-nueva-ley-de-tabaco/

[35] Bill 216.

[36] Bill No. 136/2015.

[37] See http://www.espectador.com/salud/338068/empaquetado-generico-para-reducir-el-atractivo-del-tabaco-en-2017.

[38] Reported here: http://www.republica.com.uy/1-64/

[39] EU Tobacco Products Directive introduces some pack standardization provisions (on shape and minimum quantities together with 65 percent front and back picture health warnings) but does not itself impose full standardized packaging. Instead it provides the EU Member States with the ability to act directly through domestic legislation (“Accordingly, Member States could, for example, introduce provisions providing for further standardization of the packaging of tobacco products, provided that those provisions are compatible with the TFEU [Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union], with WTO obligations and do not affect the full application of this Directive.” Article 24.2 Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 3, 2014.