AKD launches platform for tobacco product traceability

Croatian company AKD has developed an authentication and traceability system that it says meets the coding requirements of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which comes into effect on May 20 next year.

After that date, all packs on sale in the EU will have to carry at least five security features, including overt, semi-covert and covert elements to meet the TPD requirements to allow unit-based monitoring of tobacco products from production to sale. At the heart of the requirements is the use of unique identifier codes on tobacco packs.

AKD – which is active in the security document and identification business – says its platform can be used to generate and manage the unique codes that are the basis for establishing traceability of tobacco products, as well as the registration of users, facilities and machines used in their production

The system is already being tested in Croatia, according to a spokesperson for AKD, who told that it can “support any ID issuer in the EU since it has implemented all the functionalities and requirements in regards to the unique code specifications of the TPD.” It is available as an API that can be integrated into companies’ current IT systems and also via a web service.

The platform – described as an upgrade to AKD’s core PAT software – is being put through its paces in production facilities, and AKD says that “since distributors and wholesalers will also be involved in the functional testing this will make it possible to test this solution in real life conditions.”

The results of the Croatian testing will help AKD offer its platform to other organisations serving the EU tobacco market, said the company, although the timeframe for compliance with the TPD’s traceability requirements is getting short given it’s the current deadline of May 20, 2019.

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