Cigarettes and tobacco licensing was on the agenda in Parliament yesterday.
It was raised during the tabling of the Tobacco Control Amendment Bill 2018 where the Government is proposing to establish a tobacco licensing body.
If approved, the licensing body will regulate tobacco licensing fees for manufacturers, importers, distributors, nightclub owners and hotels.
It will prescribe these tobacco annual licensing fees through regulations.
The Bill was introduced in Parliament by the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama.
According to the Tobacco Control Amendment Bill 2018, the Bill substitutes section 21(3) of the principal act which states that no manufacturer, distributor, importer or retailer of a tobacco product shall provide promotional discounts and internet sales of tobacco products.
The bill proposes that a person under the age of 21 is prohibited from selling any tobacco product.
It seeks to amend the law allowing the C.E.O. to prescribe the permitted weight and size of a cigarette in a packet that is permitted to be sold by retailers.
It will also allow the Ministry of Health to conduct testing audits of tobacco products.
“The intention is to carry out on the spot testing without warning to the manufacturers and importers.
“The testing of tobacco products is done at manufacturers and importers facilities at the cost of the manufacturer or importer.”
The proposed Bill also seeks to provide for a new license scheme under the Act.
“The license scheme will require manufacturers, importers and distributors of tobacco products to be licensed in order to distribute tobacco products.”