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Summary

Most countries allow a transition period between when manufacturers have to produce plain packs and when retailers must sell the products to customers in plain packs. *In Hungary, new brands introduced to the market after August 19,2017 must be in plain packs with some already on sale. 

1. Laws Adopted and in Force

AUSTRALIA—
  • December 1, 2011 Tobacco Plain Packaging Act adopted;
  • December 1, 2012 Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations came into force.1 
  •  Legislation applies to all tobacco products.
  • Legal challenges: High Court constitutional challenge by tobacco industry dismissed October 20122; Investment treaty claim by Philip Morris dismissed December 2015 3; World Trade Organization dispute panel ruling due by July 20174 (media reports are that the interim award is in Australia’s favor5).
UNITED KINGDOM—
  • March 19, 2015 Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations adopted;
  • May 20, 2016 Regulations came into force6 (applies to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). 
  • Legislation applies to cigarettes and hand-roll-tobacco. Old stock could be sold until May 20, 2017.7
  • Legal challenges: High Court challenge by tobacco industry dismissed May 2016; ruling upheld by Court of Appeal November 2016.8
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.9 
  •  Legislation applies to cigarettes and hand-roll-tobacco. Old stock could be sold until January 1, 2017.
  • Legal challenges: TheConseilConstitutionnel upheld the law in a decision on January 21, 2016 10 ; the Conseild’État dismissed six industry challenges in a decision given on December 23, 2016.11
HUNGARY—
  • August 16, 2016 Decree No. 239/2016 published.12
  • August 19, 2016 All new brands/variants must be in plain packaging.
  • May 20, 2019 All existing brands must be in plain packaging. Applies only to cigarettes and hand-roll-tobacco.
IRELAND—
  • March 10, 2015 Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act13 adopted (commenced March 29, 2017); detailed regulations come into force on September 30, 2017.14  Applies to all tobacco products.
  • Legal challenge: Claim by Japan Tobacco International in the Commercial Court struck out November 2016.15
NORWAY—
  • December 9, 2016 Parliament approved the bill to introduce plain packaging.18,19 
  • July 1, 2017  Detailed regulations came into force for manufacturers. 
  • Law only applies to cigarettes, hand-roll-tobacco and snus. Old stock of non-standardized packs can be sold until July 1, 2018.
  • 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.[i] Swedish Match filed an appeal on December 8, 2017.

2. Laws Adopted but Not yet Implemented

GEORGIA—
  • May 30, 2017 The President signed an amending law on Tobacco Control which included provisions for plain packaging regulations, that must be implemented by January 1, 2018.The law also required that the Decree containing detailed requirements must be adopted by July 1, 2017, but to date this has not occurred. 
NEW ZEALAND—
  • September 14, 2016 Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Act 2016 16 was given royal assent. A consultation ran from May to July 2016. 17 
  •  June 6, 2017  Smoke-free Environments Regulations 2017[ii] adopted. Law comes into force on March 14, 2018. Legislation applies to all tobacco products. A six-week transition period applies to distributors. 
ROMANIA—
  • October 12, 2016 Parliament passed a lawthat implements the EU TPD and includes provisions that allow the Health Minister to introduce plain-packaging regulations. 20
SLOVENIA—
  • February 15, 2017 Parliament passed a tobacco control bill21, which implements the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and includes provisions for introducing uniform, no-brand packaging by January 2020.
THAILAND—
  • April 2, 2017 the Tobacco Product Control Act 2017 was gazetted. It includes a provision (at Article 38) that allows the Minister to introduce regulations for plain packaging.22 The law comes into effect on July 4, 2017.

3. 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.23
CANADA—
  • In May 2016, the government commenced a consultation27 on detailed proposals for plain packaging, which ran until the end of August 2016. A bill is before parliament that provides powers to adopt plain packaging regulations.[iii]
CHILE—
  • A bill providing powers to introduce plain packaging was passed in the Senate in July 2015.24 It has been assigned to the Health and Agriculture Commission in the House of Deputies but has since remained inactive, although pressure continues for it to be debated.
ECUADOR—
  • A bill for plain packaging was introduced to the National Assembly on August 3, 2016, 25 which 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.26 A sub-committee recommended it be removed making reference to the WTO TRIPS agreement, and no further action has since taken place.

4. 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 of adopting further requirements to standardize tobacco packaging.34
Notes
  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.
  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/articles/2017-05-04/wto-said-to-uphold-australia-s-ban-on-cigarette-logos.
  6. The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. Available from:http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/829/contents/made.
  7. 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.
  8. [2016] EWCA Civ 1182 (Appeal). Available from: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1182.html.
  9. 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: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCode.do?idSectionTA=LEGISCTA000033045524&cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006072665&dateTexte=20170126. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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/Decisions-Avis-Publications/Decisions/Selection-des-decisions-faisant-l-objet-d-une-communication-particuliere/CE-23-decembre-2016-societe-JT-International-SA-Societe-d-exploitation-industrielle-des-tabacs-et-des-allumettes-societe-Philip-Morris-France-SA-et-autres.
  12. 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
  13. Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015. Available from: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/act/4/section/23/enacted/en/print.html.
  14. Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Regulations 2017. Available from: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2017/si/422/made/en/print
  15. JTI v Minister for Health, Ireland and the Attorney General 2015/2530P.
  16. See http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2016/0043/latest/DLM5821008.html.
  17. See http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/standardised-tobacco-products-packaging-draft-regulations-consultation-may16_1.pdf.
  18. https://kreftforeningen.no/en/cancer-prevention/parliament-adopts-standardised-packaging-to-save-lives-and-prevent-suffering/
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Available from: http://imss.dz-rs.si/imis/601ce03a35a0d00c2a33.pdf.
  22. Available from: http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/files/live/Thailand/Thailand%20-%20TC%20Act%202017.pdf
  23. 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).
  24. Senate Bill 8.886-11w.
  25. Bill 216.
  26. Bill No. 136/2015.
  27. Available from: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/tobacco-packages-emballages-produits-tabac/document-eng.php.
  28. Available from: https://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/70305.
  29. Available here: https://www.reach.gov.sg/participate/public-consultation/health-promotion-board/substance-abuse-department/public-consultation-paper-on-potential-tobacco-control-policies.
  30. Reported here: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/03/09/legal-age-for-smoking-and-buying-tobacco-products-in-singapore-to-be-raised/.
  31. Available from: http://tobaksfakta.se/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Summary1.pdf.
  32. Notification number TPKM/264 (Taiwan Economy) Date Issued: 2/13/2017.
  33. See http://www.espectador.com/salud/338068/empaquetado-generico-para-reducir-el-atractivo-del-tabaco-en-2017.
  34. 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 Parliamentand of the Council of April 3, 2014.