Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Legislation Ready to Commence
The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Act 2016 was assented to on 14th September 2016 and will commence on the earlier of either a date appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council or the 14th March 2018...
The amendment Act provides for the standardised or plain packaging of tobacco products that are sold or offered for sale. The specifics of the standardised packaging will be specified in regulations, which will eventually issue from the Governor-General by Order in Council. However, the amendment Act provides that the regulations may without limitation do any or all of the following:
(a) require a tobacco product, or the package for a tobacco product, to be a prescribed size and shape:
(b) prohibit a tobacco product, or the package for a tobacco product, from displaying any words or other marks unless they are specifically permitted:
(c) specify types of words or other marks that are permitted to be displayed on a tobacco product or the package for a tobacco product (for example, bar codes or marks used to record manufacturing information or to detect legitimate products or packages):
(d) specify requirements for the display of the permitted words or marks, including the circumstances and manner in which the words or marks are to be displayed (for example, the typeface or font, size, colour, and position of the words or marks):
(e) prohibit any type of feature from a tobacco product or the package for a tobacco product (for example, any feature designed to promote the product by changing the appearance of the product or package after retail sale or by making a noise or smell):
(f) prescribe the number of cigarettes or the weight of loose tobacco that must be contained in a package (subject to pre-existing minimums):
(g) specify separate requirements or options for different parts of a product or a package (for example, any plastic or other wrapping must be consistently transparent, uncoloured, and unmarked)
The amendment Act will also amend the Designs Act 1953 by specifying that the Commissioner of Designs may register a design even if its use is restricted or prohibited under the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.
The transitional provisions provides that there is no transitional period for manufacturers, packagers or importers, but that distributors will have a 6-week transitional period and other relevant persons who sell or supply tobacco products will have a 12-week transitional period.