Tobacco products and e-cigarette cross-border sales registration
How businesses that supply tobacco products and e-cigarettes via cross-border distance sales can register with the UK government.
From 20 May 2016, you need to register your business if you supply tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes via cross-border distance sales, for example online sales.
This applies to:
- businesses established in the UK selling tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes to consumers in another EEA state (European Economic Area - the 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
- businesses established in the EEA or any other country selling to UK consumers
Without confirmation of registration, businesses must not supply a relevant product to a consumer via a cross-border distance sale.
Business to business sales, that is sales not direct to consumers, don’t need to be registered.
Businesses established in the UK selling to consumers in another EEA state must:
- also register with the competent authority of any EEA state in which the consumer is located - for example, a UK based retailer selling to consumers in France and Germany will have to register with the UK government and the French and German authorities
- provide Public Health England (PHE) with a copy of any registration confirmations provided by the competent authority of any EEA states that you intend to do business with
- send confirmations from these other EEA states to CBS.Tobacco@phe.gov.uk - the UK confirmation of registration will not be complete until these documents are received
At this initial stage the Department appreciates that not all Member States have set up their registration systems. In these cases it may not be possible for businesses to provide registration confirmations from the competent authority in the EEA where your customers are based.
However, all businesses are expected to complete the online registration form with all available information by 20 May 2016. PHE will then be able to provide confirmation of registration in the UK, enabling UK businesses to continue cross border sales. Once systems are set up in other Member States we expect businesses to provide confirmation of registration in those countries. When we have this confirmation, the registration process will be complete.
Registration is a legal requirement under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).
Confirmation of registration
When you have submitted your completed registration form and sent any relevant documents you will receive an email within 20 working days confirming your registration.
If the information you provide does not comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 we will contact you for further information.
Please be aware that the government is required to publish the list of retailers, including the trading name and website address(es), once registered.
Email CBS.Tobacco@phe.gov.uk if you have any further queries relating to this process.
Published: 28 April 2016
Updated: 31 March 2017
- Updated list of registed retailers.
- Updated the list of retailers to include those who registered from August to 15 December 2016.
- Published the list of registered retailers for July 2016 and the list of Member States that permit cross-border distance sales of e-cigarettes and/or tobacco products.
- New advice for businesses established in the UK selling to consumers in another EEA state where that EEA state has not yet set up a registration system.
- First published.