Traceability marking and security feature on tobacco products – this applies to manufacturers and importers

Tobacco manufacturers and importers are responsible for marking the products with the traceability marking and the security features. This has to be correctly done to secure that the markings are tamperproof.

Cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco intended for the Swedish market must be marked with a traceability mark, an unique identifier, issued by the Swedish ID-issuer and a security feature with at least the five authentication elements laid down in the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s regulation on security features on unit packets of tobacco products (link below). These markings must be on all unit packets in order to be sold.

The Public Health Agency’s regulations on security marking on unit packets of tobacco products; HSLF-FS 2019:4 (in Swedish)

From 20 May 2024, all tobacco products sold on the Swedish market must bear a traceability marking and a tamperproof security feature.

If aggregated unique identifiers have been created, these shall also be marked on the aggregated units.

Application of the unique identifiers

As a manufacturer or importer, you are responsible for putting a unique identifier on all unit level packets. The unique identifier shall be applied to the unit packet or the aggregated package with a data carrier with both an optical machine-readable code and a human readable code.

More information on ordering unique identifiers and the traceability system

Data carrier

The optically readable code on the unit packet shall be in one of the three approved formats in article 21.1 of implementing regulation 2018/574.

The optically readable code on the aggregated package shall be in one of the three approved formats in Article 21.5 of the Implementing Regulation 2018/574.

In order to distinguish the data carrier for traceability from other data carriers that may be on unit packs or aggregated packs, TTT may be added to the marking next to the data carrier.

Time stamp

You shall add a time stamp in the format YYMMDDhh, 8 characters in total, to the codes generated by the ID issuer. The time stamp shall indicate the date and time of production and can either be included in the data carrier or printed separately on the unit packet in a human-readable format.

Human readable code

You are responsible for ensuring that each data carrier also contains a code that can be read by humans and that makes it possible to track and trace the packet in the database system. If the dimensions of the package permit, the human-readable code shall be next to the optical data carrier with the unique identifier.

For unit packets, the human-readable code must consist of the ID issuer's code (QCALL) and the unique serial number (9 characters).

Method for applying the security feature

As a manufacturer or importer, you are responsible for putting a security feature on all unit products. The security feature must be applied to the packet under the cellophane cover and designed in such way it cannot be reused, which means that it should leave marks or break if removed or when the packet is opened.

The security feature can be applied to unit packets of tobacco products using one of the following methods:

  • affixing
  • printing
  • a combination of affixing and printing.

Security features shall be applied to unit packets of tobacco products in a way that:

  • allows for the identification and verification of the authenticity of an individual unit packet of tobacco product for the entire time that the tobacco product is placed on the market and
  • protects it from being replaced, reused or modified in any way.

Read more

Rules and regulations on traceability marking and security features on tobacco products

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