Plain Packaging of Cigars - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions on cigars and cigar packaging and compliance with the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (and other relevant legislation)

Page last updated: 11 June 2015

Contents

Cigar Packaging
Cigar Bands
Further Information
Information for Tobacco Suppliers

Cigar Packaging


Question 1. Am I responsible for repackaging tobacco products that are in non-compliant packaging?
If you have tobacco products in non-compliant packaging that you intend to sell, offer for sale or otherwise supply, you must arrange for the product to be repackaged in compliant packaging.

The packaging (including cigar bags) must be in Pantone 448C, a drab dark brown colour in a matt finish with the required health warning.

Question 2. Where do I get compliant packaging?
If you are a retailer, you should contact your supplier/importer/manufacturer to discuss. If you are a supplier/importer/manufacturer, you need to make arrangements for compliant packaging and printing.

Question 3. Do single sale cigars have to be in plain packaging?
Yes, they must be in compliant packaging (see also Question 5 below).

The packaging (including cigar bags) must be in Pantone 448C, a drab dark brown colour in a matt finish with the required health warning. To ensure compliance with the legislation it is necessary for suppliers of cigars to maintain sufficient stocks of cigar bags or other compliant packaging.

Single sale cigars may have a band that is in the drab dark brown colour (Pantone 448C), and may contain certain marks as permitted by the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011.

Question 4. Can I put a non-compliant tobacco product into a compliant bag (or other compliant container) at the time of sale? (e.g. place non-complaint cigarettes or cigars or RYO tobacco pouches and tins into a compliant zip lock bag)
No. Tobacco products in non-compliant packaging must be repackaged prior to selling, offering for sale or otherwise supplying the product.

Question 5. Can I show a potential customer a cigar that is not in compliant plain packaging?
No. A cigar can be viewed either without packaging or in plain packaging. Note that the cigar must be placed into compliant packaging, with a health warning, before sale.
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Cigar Bands

Question 6. What are the requirements for cigar bands?
Cigars may have a band that is in the drab dark brown colour (Pantone 448C), and may contain certain marks as permitted by the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011. No other marks are permitted (Section 26 of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011). Non-compliant bands must be removed or covered with a compliant plain packaging adhesive band. The compliant adhesive band must completely cover the non-compliant band and be firmly fastened to, and not be easily removable from, the band it covers.

Further Information

Question 7. Where can I find further information on the plain packaging requirements?
Refer to sections 18 to 26 of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and Regulations 2.1.3 to 2.6.3, 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011.

Information for Tobacco Suppliers

As a supplier of tobacco products, it is your responsibility to gain and maintain an understanding of what is required of you under the relevant legislation. Further information is available from:
  • Tobacco Plain Packaging and Product Safety website
  • The Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011, available on the Comlaw website
  • The Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011 - available on the Comlaw website
  • For enquiries specific to graphics and health warnings - the ACCC Info Centre - 1300 302 502
  • For enquiries specific to tobacco plain packaging (other than graphics and health warnings) - the Tobacco Plain Packaging complaints line - 1800 062 971 or email Plain Packaging complaints.
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NOTE: This information has been provided as a guide only, and should not be relied upon as a source of legal advice. It is not a complete summary of the tobacco plain packaging and health warning requirements. You should obtain your own professional and legal advice in relation to the plain packaging and health warning requirements. All information in this publication is correct as at October 2015.

The content in this publication is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 no part may be reproduced without prior written permission from the Commonwealth.


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