Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)
Central Board of Excise & Customs
29th December, 2009.
All Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.).
All Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise.
Subject: Implementation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 – regarding
Sir / Madam,
Please refer to the Board’s instructions of even number dated 6.10.2009 and the DGFT Notification No. 108(RE-2008)2004-09 dated 5.6.2009 and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Notifications No.GSR 182(E) dated 15.3.2008 and GSR 305(E) dated 3.5.2009 (copy enclosed) on the above mentioned subject.
2. The provisions of the ‘Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008’ require that every package of cigarette or any other tobacco product shall have the specified health warning in the manner specified in the Schedule to the Rules. Such health warning shall occupy at least 40% of the principal display area of the front panel of the pack and shall be positioned parallel to the top edge of the package and in the same direction as the information on the principal display area. Further, it has been clarified in the notification dated 3.5.2009 by way of an amendment that the package shall mean any type of pack in which cigarette or other tobacco product is packed for consumer sale. The DGFT had also issued a notification on 5.6.2009 whereby a general note has been added to the import policy for complying with the said rules as follows:
“21. Import of cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be subject to the provisions contained in the “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2009”, as notified by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.”
3. In view of the specific provisions whereby compliance with the Cigarettes Packaging and Labelling Rules have been made mandatory on imported cigarettes and tobacco products as a part of the Import Policy, the Customs field formations are required to enforce its compliance. Hence, distribution or sale of cigarettes in duty free shops shall also be subject to compliance of the aforesaid Cigarettes Packaging and Labelling Rules.
In view of the above, Board hereby instructs that the amendments introduced in the aforesaid ‘Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008’ and the Import Policy Note No.21 of Chapter 1A of the General Notes regarding Import Policy issued by the DGFT may be implemented by all the Customs field formations. Since the specified health warning, pictorial representation of ill effects of tobacco use and health message on imported cigarettes and other tobacco products are intended for public awareness and are components of specified health warning, the Customs field formations dealing with clearance of these products may be instructed accordingly for effective implementation of the aforesaid Rules.