As stated in our previous article, Turkey introduced new plain packaging rules for tobacco with the Regulation on Methods and Procedures for Manufacturing, Labelling and Control of Tobacco Products (the “Regulation”) published in Official Gazette number 30701 on 1 March 2019. Further to this Regulation, on 27 June 2019, the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Methods and Procedures for Manufacturing, Labelling and Control of Tobacco Products (“Amendment Regulation”) has been published.

Notable amendments introduced by the Amendment Regulation can be summarized as follows:

  • Besides the trademark, the distinctive statement can also be included in the tobacco packaging.
  • This distinctive statement can be placed under the trademark name instead of tobacco products’ back or bottom side.
  • The inner surface of the unit pack and group of tobacco products, made of cardboard material, should be in the color of craft brown.
  • The inner surface color of the packaging for products other than cigar and cigarettes with aromatic hookah tobacco should be silver or Pantone 448 C Matte finish.
  • The text in the combined health warning sign on smoking tobacco products should cover 40% of the product’s surface area instead of 38%.
  • On flip-top hard packages, messages to persuade smokers to quit in the combined health warning sign should cover at least 8% of the product’s surface area but should not exceed 10% (previously 12%).
  • The most important amendment is that the deadline for the producers to comply with the new regulations and update the market compliance certificates is extended from 5 July 2019 to 5 December 2019. Accordingly, the date for the cancellation of the market compliance certificates with no update permission application is postponed to 6 December 2019.
  • The deadline for tobacco products, that comply with the Regulation on the Procedures and Principles Regarding the Production Method, Labelling and Inspection of Tobacco Products from Damages published in the Official Gazette dated 6 January 2005 and numbered 2569, to be issued, updated, produced, imported and placed on the market is postponed to 5 December 2019. Cigarettes including menthol or derivatives whose production has ended on 31 December 2018 are excluded.
  • The market supply of menthol-containing products, whose production ended on 31 December 2018, is extended to 5 December 2019. In any case, it is forbidden to keep these products on the market as of 5 January 2020.
  • The health warnings included in the unit package of tobacco products placed on the market cannot be partially hidden or covered with bander. The warning should be fully visible. All products should comply with this provision by 31 December 2020, at the latest.

The Amendment Regulation postpones the application dates to five months following the dates first determined by the Regulation. Furthermore, the Amendment Regulation clears many details including packaging and font.

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Regulation, which has been published in Official Gazette number 30814 on 27 June 2019 (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.