Philip Morris International (PMI), which produces the Marlboro and L&M brands, has been given the green light to challenge the EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The tobacco firm was granted permission to challenge the Directive’s validity by Mr. Justice Turner during a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in the UK.
PMI is challenging whether the Directive complies with EU Treaties in terms of legal competence (PMI argues the legislation ‘actively encourages disharmonization by inviting Member States to adopt a patchwork of other measures such as “plain packaging” even though they obstruct the free movement of goods and violate EU law’), and the fundamental rights of consumers to obtain information about the products they are purchasing.
“This marks an important first step for our challenge of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive,” said Marc Firestone, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Philip Morris International. “We believe the Directive disrupts the balance that the EU treaties establish between the Union and the Member States, and we are looking forward to a thorough, objective review by the EU’s highest court. “There is no disagreement that tobacco products should be strictly regulated, but measures must honor the EU treaties. The Directive purports to improve the internal tobacco market, yet instead includes a mix of product bans, mandates, and delegations of authority that raise serious questions under the EU Treaties about consumer choice, the free movement of goods, and competition.”
The CJEU is expected to issue a judgment within two years.
Elsewhere, this morning, Imperial Tobacco, which is home to the John Player and Lambert & Butler brands, posted a 6% decline in revenue for the 12 months to 30 September (on a reported basis), and a 7% decline in tobacco volume; however operating profits were up 5%.
"Trading conditions remain tough in many territories, but the actions we’ve taken to enhance the quality and sustainability of the business have put us in a stronger position to drive growth and create sustainable value for our shareholders," said Alison Cooper, Imperial Tobacco chief executive.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones