Retailers set out tobacco concerns to Welsh Government

shutterstock_256658419A delegation from the NFRN has met with the Welsh government to discuss their concerns over the proposed tobacco retailers’ register.

Detailed in the Public Health (Wales) Bill, the scheme will require any retailer who sells tobacco products to fill out a registration form and pay the initial fee of £30 for one premise, £10 for each additional premise, to be registered.

The scheme is cited by the Welsh Government as a means of reinforcing the importance of protecting young people from accessing tobacco and nicotine products and as an aid for enforcing tobacco legislation.

NFRN South Wales district president Matthew Clark commented: “We are pleased that the Welsh government has taken the time to listen to the concerns of retailers. Already the government has removed the draft suggestion that retailers should re-register every three years, at an additional cost, which is a positive move in preventing the system from making a cash cow out of legitimate retailers.”

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter added: “It is important that we represent small independent retailers on this issue and ensure their voice is heard. Unfortunately, because our members sell tobacco they are the easy target for funding trading standards actions, yet are the ones selling responsibly. We will be ensuring that this scheme does not draw any focus away from the authorities’ role of cracking down on illicit traders.”

The meeting took place at the Welsh Government’s offices in Cardiff. The NFRN was represented by chief executive Paul Baxter, Mersey, Dee and North Wales district member Kevin Jones and South Wales district members Matthew Clark, Mark Dudden and Jonathan Powell.