With the one-year sell-through period for non-compliant Track & Trace and Menthol & Capsule cigarettes coming to an end today, JTI has made a commitment to take back stock held by retailers.

Ross Hennessy, sales vice president UK, JTI, said: “After listening to feedback from trade customers and retailers across all channels, JTI can now confirm that we will take back all non-compliant Track & Trace and Menthol & Capsule stock held by every retailer who our sales reps visit. We will aim to uplift this stock within 12 weeks from the time our sales reps return to the trade.

“While the current COVID-19 situation is clearly unprecedented, we are determined to continue to support our trade partners through this period of uncertainty and JTI sales representatives are in constant contact with their retailers via phone.

“Should your local JTI representative not be able to visit your store immediately following the implementation of Track & Trace and the Menthol & Capsule Ban on the 20th May 2020, please ensure that you keep JTI Menthol & Capsule and non-complaint Track & Trace stock that needs swapping, separate from other stock.

“For clarification, all retailers will need to supply their JTI rep with both Track & Trace ID codes. As soon as it is safe to do so, your JTI representative will begin visiting again, so please ensure stock has been separated in readiness for their visit. In the meantime, should you require assistance, please either contact your JTI representative by phone, visit our trade website JTI Advance or call the Customer Care Line on 0800 163503.”

Meanwhile the Association of Convenience Stores) has reminded retailers about the tobacco changes in force. From 20th May, the menthol cigarettes ban will come into effect and the sell-through period for unmarked stock in the tobacco track and trace system will end.

Menthol Cigarettes Ban

From 20th May, the following will be banned:

• Menthol cigarettes (this includes capsule, click on, click & roll, crushball or dual menthol cigarettes)

• Cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco which has been packaged with flavoured filters or papers

The ban does not affect the sale of:

• Flavoured filters or papers

• Heated tobacco products

• E-cigarette products

• Rolling tobacco

• Flavoured cigars and cigarillos

For more information about the ban and for a poster to display in-store to communicate the change to customers, click here.

Track and Trace Sell Through Period

The 20th May 2020 also sees the end of the sell through period for unmarked cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco (produced before 20th May 2019) in the tobacco track and trace system. Retailers will need to make sure remove these products from sale.

Retailers can identify compliant cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products (produced on and after 20th May 2019) by looking for a security label on the left hand side of cigarette packs and the closing side of a hand-rolling tobacco pouch. A picture of the security label is available here. Cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco without this label can no longer be sold.

ACS is also reminding retailers that they must have an Economic Operator Identifier Code and Facility Identifier Code(s) in order to purchase cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco. Without these codes tobacco suppliers and wholesalers cannot by law sell any cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products to retailers from 20th May.