Putin signs law boosting penalties for unlabelled drugs, tobacco

Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a law that introduces penalties for the production and sale of medicines and tobacco products without mandatory labelling.

The new law introduces fines of 5,000 to 10,000 roubles for company officials convicted of contravening the requirements and 50,000 to 100,000 roubles for companies themselves, and also provides for the confiscation of offending products.

For unmarked tobacco products, the fines for officials range from 5,000 to 15,000 roubles, and 100,000 to 150,000 for companies, once again with confiscation of goods, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

The legislation also includes fines for failing to provide information on labelling violations of 1,000 to 10,000 roubles for individuals and 50,000 to 100,000 roubles for organisations.

The new move is part of a clampdown on product labelling across the board in Russia, and comes after the country introduced criminal liabilities for falsification of the barcodes on goods in March, with fines of up to 400,000 roubles and prison sentences of up to three years for the offense.

The changes are intended to fight the trade in illegal and dangerous goods, as well as non-payment of taxes and customs duties.

By 2024, mandatory product labelling using the Chestny ZNAK system will apply to all consumer products. It currently covers medicines, tobacco products, shoes, fur coats, dairy products, perfumes and cologne, tires, cameras and flashlights, as well as some categories of light industrial goods.

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