HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published a consultation on the costs and benefits of introducing tobacco licensing for all parts of the supply chain including retailers.

The chancellor announced the consultation would take place at his Autumn Financial Statement. The UK Government is a signatory to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and is therefore obliged to explore the extent to which tobacco licensing is appropriate in the tobacco supply chain.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Licensing systems load costs and administrative burdens on retailers, and registration schemes have not been effective in tackling the illicit tobacco in devolved assemblies.

“We will be responding to the consultation calling on HMRC and enforcement agencies to use the existing resources and penalties to tackle the illicit trade.”

The full tobacco licensing consultation document is available here and evidence is required by 20th May.