Controls on the sale of tobacco are set to tighten in just over a week’s time as the UK track and trace system becomes fully operational.

Businesses that are involved in the tobacco supply chain should have an economic operator ID (EOID) code for their business, and a facility ID (FID) code for each site. Over the last eight weeks, any codes that aren’t recognised by the track and trace system have been generating a warning, allowing businesses time to investigate by logging any issues with the ID Issuer website.

From Monday 19th July, messages containing codes that fail the new checks will generate an error message. Retailers that receive an error message must take action to correct the error before continuing to move tobacco products through the supply chain.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We have worked extensively with HMRC to support retailers with the implementation of the tobacco track and trace system since its introduction in 2019, and we hope that this is another step toward only legitimate businesses being involved in the tobacco supply chain. We urge retailers to investigate any error messages immediately to avoid supply chain issues.”

ACS has been working with HMRC on providing feedback on issues with the checking system, highlighting issues that retailers have had with incorrect FID and EOID codes, with a view to introducing a more streamlined system in the future where retailers can check codes without generating error messages.