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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 78.- Tobacco control measures [29397/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 78.- Tobacco control measures [29397/16]. (11 Oct 2016)


78. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance given that under Statutory Instrument No. 271 of 2016 roll-your-own tobacco must come in minimum 30g sized packs, previously 12.5g or 25g, if the Revenue Commissioners have the necessary measures to deal with the likely increase of illicit pouches on the market due to 22% of 25g consumers and 29% of 12.5g consumers stating that they would seek an alternative source of supply for their product. [29397/16]


Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I understand that the European Union (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016, made by my colleague the Minister for Health, will require that retail packets of roll-your-own tobacco contain tobacco weighing not less than 30 grams. Enforcement of compliance with this requirement will be a matter primarily for the Health Services Executive.


The role of Revenue in respect of tobacco products is to act against the illegal sale or distribution of such products, in situations where there is evasion or attempted evasion of excise duty or the products do not carry the tax stamp required by law.


Action against all aspects of the illegal tobacco trade is, and will continue to be, a priority for Revenue, and includes a range of measures to identify and target persons engaged in the supply or sale of illicit products, with a view to seizing the illicit products and prosecuting those involved. Revenue's multifaceted strategy encompasses, also, ongoing analysis of the nature and extent of the problem, extensive cooperation (including the development and sharing of intelligence) on a national, EU and international basis, use of analytics and detection technologies and optimising the deployment of resources.


A combination of risk analysis, profiling and intelligence and the screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages contribute to the effectiveness of Revenue's goal of intercepting the supply of illicit tobacco products. Revenue also target the illicit trade at post-importation level by carrying out intelligence-based operations and random checks at retail outlets, markets and private and commercial premises.


I am assured by Revenue that action against illegal activity involving tobacco products will continue to be a central element of their work. For my part, I have acted through the Finance Acts over recent years to ensure that Revenue has the statutory powers necessary for undertaking its important work against the illegal tobacco trade, and I am satisfied that the current legislative framework provides an effective basis for action against tobacco offences.

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