Track and Trace regulations could be suspended in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, according to HRMC.
Mentioned during a meeting between the Joint Alcohol and Tobacco Consultative Group last week, HMRC said that the legislation is insufficient in its own right to support the UK system, with EU data required for it to work properly.
Chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, James Bielby, was in attendance at the meeting. He said: “This is another unforeseen consequence of a no-deal Brexit, creating more uncertainty for wholesalers. The introduction of Track and Trace has not been without problems and the lack of clarity over whether it will continue after October 31 compounds those problems for wholesalers already under immense pressure preparing for no-deal in other areas of their business.”
A spokesmen for Bestway Wholesale added: “This is a good example of the uncertainty that businesses and consumers are facing as a result of Brexit. We have devoted significant time and resources to the implementation of Tobacco Track and Trace as we are fully committed to complying with tobacco legislation to prevent illicit trade. However, the unknowns surrounding Britain’s mode of exit from the EU puts in doubt the future requirements for track and trace.”
Track and Trace came into force in May of this year, with wholesalers required to invest in the technologies and infrastructure that allow them to use unique codes for the tracking of coded tobacco moving through the supply chain.