European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers

Confederation

The European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers (ECTR), founded in 1970, is a European Economic Interest Group that brings together national associations of tobacco retailers. We are part of the Transparency Register (n° 85326064523-94) in compliance with EEC 2137/89 Regulation.

The main purpose of ECTR is to promote the interests of almost 150,000 European tobacco retailers, professional figures serving their States and the citizens by ensuring the legality of the sales circuit, the authenticity and quality of peculiar products such as tobacco, supporting an adult and conscious consumption only, in line with national and European standards for health.

Our goal is to support and promote a continuous dialogue with Institutions and stakeholders to ensure that our small family enterprises can operate within a clear regulatory framework, marked by balance and proportionality. We support any necessary initiative concerning the recognition of our role as a legal defense against any kind of smuggling, counterfeiting and illegal trafficking. We support the promotion of sale systems controlled by the state.

We support the need for tobacco products to be sold exclusively through controlled channels, operating with a license or a concession.

news

  • 22/12/2018

    HUNGARY: the introduction of plain packaging is postponed until 2022

    The Hungarian government adopted a law on 13 December 2018 to postpone the entry into force of the tobacco plain packaging until 2022. The plain packaging regulation, which was supposed to take effect in May 2019, requires all tobacco products to be packed in a uniform green cover, the removal of all branding (colours, imagery, corporate logos and trademarks) and the product name to be printed in a regular black font on the package. The recent amendment also gives to the tobacco shops the opportunity to sell their existing stock of “regular” packaged tobacco products once the plain packaging regulation becomes effective. “This is a most welcome change” Antal Lengyel, chairman of the Hungarian Tobacco Retailers Alliance announced. “We prepared a detailed and well-reasoned request to the Government to defer this regulation, because we think Hungarian tobacco retailers are not yet prepared for plain packaging” he added. “The fluctuation and lack of organised training of tobacco shop staff would have caused serious problems if plain packaging had been introduced as planned. We are happy that the Government introduced a change that is in accord with our views.”

  • 28/09/2018

    AUSTRIA: The Austrian Tobacco retailers have been allowed to sell coffee to go since 1 September.

    Customers can drink it on the spot or take it out. In Austria, tobacco shops have the right to sell a limited list of products. Although it is common in many countries, the sale of coffee to go in tobacco shops was forbidden in Austria, until now. According to the WKO (The Austrian Association of Tobacco Retailers) the sale of coffee to go will bring more customers into their retail shops. Not only smokers will come but also people who never walk into a tobacco shop. Moreover, the WKO reminds that in many villages, they are the last shops still operating. This additional product will allow Tobacconists to provide customers with a larger range of products.

  • 09/04/2018

    ITALY: ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES AVAILABLE ONLY IN TOBACCO SHOPS OR IN POINTS OF SALE AUTHORIZED BY THE ITALIAN CUSTOMS AND MONOPOLY AGENCY

    At the end of a long process concluded with the last budget law, electronic cigarettes with and without nicotine can be sold only in tobacco shops and other places expressly authorized. Online sales are prohibited. The tobacconists are automatically authorized and therefore they can sell electronic cigarettes without any specific authorization. For other shops, it is necessary to submit an application to the Customs and Monopoly Agency and wait for the authorization to be issued on the basis of objective and subjective requirements established in a recent directorial decree. Only local shops wishing to treat these products as the main activity, pharmacies and para-pharmacies may apply for such authorization. The authorization is valid for two years and is renewable after the verification of the existence of the requirements.

  • 09/04/2018

    FRANCE: The French government is raising cigarette prices

    In March the price of a packet of cigarettes went up by 1 euro. Now, with cigarette packets as expensive as 8 Euros, smoking represents a significant budget. French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn and French Budget Minister Gérald Darmanin hope that such prices will encourage smokers to quit tobacco and prevent younger adults from smoking. The objective to reduce smoking rates in France seems to be a priority for the government. This is the second price increase in under a year. Other, similar measures are expected in the coming years. The price of a single packet of cigarettes should reach 10 Euros by November 2020.

  • 09/04/2018

    GREECE: E-cigarette ban in public spaces across Greece

    Electronic cigarettes fall under the same restrictions as cigarette smoking, the Council of State plenary ruled on Monday, including a ban on their use in public spaces, transportation and in advertisements. In its ruling, the court rejected a petition by the Association of Greek e-cigarette Businesses to cancel a series of decisions on its restricted use, adding that the group however could seek to recover losses.

  • 09/04/2018

    AUSTRIA: Austria scraps smoking ban in bars and restaurants

    The Austrian parliament voted in late March to drop plans to introduce a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. MPs voted to overturn the planned ban despite public protests and a petition which attracted more than 500,000 signatures. The country allows people to light up in restaurants and bars so long as they sit in a separate area. Bars smaller than 50 square meters (540 square feet) have the right to allow smoking throughout the premise.

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  • 21/2/2019

    THE ECTR’S MEMBERS VISITING THE HUNGARIAN TOBACCONISTS

    On 23 November 2018, at the invitation of the Hungarian Alliance of Tobacconists’ Chairman, Antal Lengyel, who is the ECRT’s Chairman as well, the ECRT’s members visited the National exhibition of Hungarian retailers of monopoly goods and attended a conference on the subject. That was a very important event for the whole sector with the participation of many representatives of the Magyar political and institutional world.

    The European tobacconists were hosted at the Hungarian Parliament

    The ECRT’s members also visited the Hungarian Parliament where they met the Vice-President of Parliament, Istvan Jakab, to speak about issues related to tobacco regulations approved recently. Mr Jakab not only praised the excellent economic results of Hungarian tobacconists, but also the decline in smoking due to the adoption of State Monopoly on the Retail Sale of Tobacco.

    The Plain Tobacco Packaging Measure is not convincing

    On the occasion of the conference organised by the Hungarian Alliance of Tobacconists, it is increasingly recognized that the plain tobacco packaging has no effect on smoking prevalence, as evidenced by the French experience.

    Following tough oppositions between the Hungarian Authority and representatives of the Magyar Alliance of Tobacconists supported by the CEDT, the Orban government decided to postpone the introduction of the plain tobacco packaging until 2022 while scheduled on May 2019.


    Vice-President (third from right), Magyar Alliance of Tobacconists’ Chairman Antal Lengyel (second from right) with the ECTR’s members.

    The exclusive sales of products different from traditional cigarettes are needed

    Five years after the introduction of State Monopoly on the Retail Sale of Tobacco, Hungary is the most recent proof that this type of sale guarantees a better quality control and young smoking prevention.

    Therefore, it appears urgent to adopt the same measures as those in place for tobacco products to face possible illegal sales of new smoking products different from traditional cigarettes.

  • 11/2/2019

    THE ECTR'S ELECTIONS: A NEW PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE BODY

    On 6 February at the ECTR's headquarters in Brussels, the members meeting in a General Assembly elected a new Chairman and executive body.


    from left to right: Philippe Coy Vice-Chairman (France), Mario Espejo Aguilar Member (Spain), Theodoros Mallios Member (Greece), Peter Schweinschwaller Chairman (Austria), Giovanni Risso Secretary-General (Italy), Antal Lengyel Treasurer (Hungary)

    Peter Schweinschwaller (Austria) was elected Chairman, Philippe Coy (France) Vice-Chairman, Giovanni Risso (Italy) Secretary General and Antal Lengyel (Hungary) Treasurer.

    Peter Schweinschwaller, representative of Austrian tobacco retailers, wants to highlight and promote the social and economic role of this convenience store network to the European institutions. Its 150,000 points of sale welcome 40% of the European population. Moreover, he is looking forward to further expanding its membership by recruiting other European tobacco retailers ' associations whose interests converge with those of the current members. He aims to strengthen contacts within the tobacco sector to better fight against illegal trafficking.


    from left to right: Philippe Coy, Vice-Chairman and Peter Schweinschwaller, Chairman of the ECTR.

    As part of his first missions, Chairman Peter Schweinschwaller and his team will develop a common position on products treated as tobacco, thanks to constant exchanges with relevant stakeholders: ECTR's members, institutional actors and tobacco sector operators. In addition, Peter Schweinschwaller considers that these daily meetings with European citizens and a better knowledge of this sales network based on a system of authorisations and licenses, controlled by Regulatory Authorities punctually, are a major asset for effective communication on public health issues.


    from left to right: Ernst Koresta, Vice-Chairman of Austrian Tobacco Monopoly Administration, Prirschl Josef, WKO Chairman.

  • 3/1/2019

    A ECTR MEETING IN ATHENS TO ANTICIPATE MARKET TRENDS

    On 19 June 2018, the members of the European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers met in Athens to talk over the sector's priorities and anticipate market trends.

    After a warm welcome, the Chairman of the Greek Federation of Kiosks Mr. Theodoros Mallios explained that in Greece most tobacco products are sold in kiosks. However, the number of kiosks has gone down from 12,000 to just over 6,000 outlets since 2010. A sharp decline not only due to the crisis but also to an unprecedented increase in tobacco taxation. In order to cope with the unfavourable economic context, Greek kiosks had to structurally transform their retail outlets while keeping their unique character of driving spirit of their neighbourhoods.

    Moreover, the manager of the Austrian Monopoly Mr. Hannes Höfer, who was invited by the ECTR’s members to attend their meeting, took the opportunity to announce his intention to develop regular exchanges with the supervisory authorities of the countries of the ECTR’s members.

    The traceability system, required by the last EU Tobacco Directive, was a major topic of the meeting. According to ECTR’s Members, the new provisions for traceability pose relevant challenges for their implementation, especially in Spain and Austria.

    On the other hand, the ECTR’s members recognize that Tobacco track and trace system is a key instrument in the fight against cigarettes smuggling. Nevertheless, they hope it will not bring additional costs to the tobacco retailers.

    About the ongoing debate of the legalization of the cannabis, i.e. CBD, the ECTR’s members see that there are huge differences between States in legal and trading approaches. They reckon this product requires a European regulation to allow States to control it to the final consumer.


    Theodoros Mallios, chairman of the Greek Federation of Kiosks.

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European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers.
Rue Montoyer, 31 B-1000 BRUXELLES
Phone: +32 (0) 7721305