Cigarette packs to be issued electronic IDs


In a bid to crack down on the illegal trade in tobacco, the government is designing a new system that will issue products with unique traceability codes that will accompany each packet from the phase of production, through marketing and up until it reaches consumers.

According to a report by KPMG, in 2018 the consumption of illegal cigarettes in the European Union accounted for 8.6 percent of the total – representing 43.6 billion cigarettes, which is equivalent to four times the legal consumption in Greece.

The report shows that the illegal cigarette market in Greece in 2018 jumped to 23.6 percent, placing the country at the top of the relevant list in the EU. At the same time, Greece registered the largest quantity of counterfeit cigarettes in the EU (1.5 billion cigarettes).

The General Secretariat for Information Systems (GSIS) has declared an open competition for the procurement of the system, which will be fully activated in the first three months of 2021. The deadline for the submission of bids is March 30.

Among the innovations the new information system seeks to introduce, is a mobile application that will provide real-time detailed information on each product via the unique code.

This will enable the consumer to know immediately, in real time, the product’s date of manufacture and, most importantly, whether the product’s code is authentic or not.