New track and trace proposals on tobacco could have a ‘detrimental’ impact on the convenience sector, the ACS has warned.

Under the new draft regulations, retailers would have to register and pay to receive an ‘economic operator identifier code’ for their business and a ‘facility identifier code’, which would need to be presented whenever a tobacco transaction with a wholesaler takes place.

“These regulations would place enormous cost and time burdens on retailers,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

The ‘track and trace’ proposals for tobacco are due to come into force in May 2019, in a planned move to tackle the illicit trade. New research earlier this month by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association found that 41% of smokers in the UK purchase illicit tobacco.

Stamping out duty evasion on tobacco would bring in more than £3 billion in tax for the government, £400 million more than in 2016.

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