Refunds or replacement of tobacco products will be offered to retailers as part of a court-enforceable undertaking offered by Raktos Distribution Services Pty Limited and its directors and accepted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Raktos, which trades under the name Smokers Supplies, imports and distributes tobacco products and accessories including Captain Black branded cigars and loose tobacco products.
From approximately March 2007 to June 2008, Raktos supplied retailers with Captain Black Little Cigars Filters and Captain Black Gold branded tobacco products which did not comply with the tobacco labelling requirements prescribed by the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Tobacco) Regulations 2004. This was in contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
The regulations set out the strict labelling requirements for tobacco products manufactured in, or imported into, Australia after 1 March 2006. This includes: prescribed warning messages, corresponding explanatory messages and the graphics to be displayed on packaging.
The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Raktos and each of its directors personally under which:
- Raktos and its directors will refrain from supplying tobacco products which do not comply with the tobacco regulations which are in force at any particular time
- Raktos will remove non-complying tobacco products from sale and offer a full refund of the purchase price or replacement tobacco products to retailers who bought non-complying tobacco products from Raktos or its directors, and
- Raktos will implement and maintain a trade practices law compliance program.
"Tobacco labelling is an important mechanism to notify consumers of the health risks of using tobacco products," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "Manufacturers and distributors of tobacco products must strictly comply with the prescribed labelling requirements. The ACCC is vigilant to ensure tobacco products comply with the tobacco regulations. It will take swift action against traders who do not strictly comply."
Mr Graeme Samuel, Chairman, (03) 9290 1812 or 0408 335 555
Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520
Release # MR 271/08
Infocentre 1300 302 502