Conflict in the anti-tobacco law made it possible «discounts» on cigarettes

© Fotolia / Heath DomanТабличка non-SmokingConflict in the anti-tobacco law made it possible «discounts» on cigarettes© Fotolia / Heath Doman

Legal conflict in the Russian anti-tobacco law allows you to treat the sale of cigarettes at retail at a price below the maximum, as discount, although the law expressly prohibits. Retailers this practice discounts do not think, however, legislators may propose amendments to the anti-Smoking law for its correct interpretation.

Federal law 15-FZ «On protection of health of citizens from impact of ambient tobacco smoke and consequences of tobacco consumption» was adopted in February 2013. By its developer was made by the Ministry of health. According to article 16 of this law, to reduce the demand for tobacco and tobacco products to advertise and promote the sale of tobacco, tobacco products or tobacco use.

In particular, the law prohibits the application of any discounts for tobacco products. At the same time, under article 13 of the instrument to reduce the demand for tobacco products on it sets minimum retail prices, which account for 75% of the maximum retail prices for tobacco products.

The procedure of establishing the last spelled out in the Tax code: they indicate taxpayers (tobacco manufacturers) own one pack of cigarettes for each brand separately. Accordingly, the sale of tobacco products at a price below the minimum and above the maximum is illegal.

Legal interpretation

However, court practice suggests that the deviation of actual retail cigarette prices from the maximum level can be interpreted as establishing discounts to attract consumers. For example, in the files of arbitration cases information is available about the dispute between OOO BILLA (the supermarket chain Billa) and the office of Rospotrebnadzor in Moscow.

According to this information, at the end of 2015, the office of Rospotrebnadzor revealed «promotion of tobacco products» in one of capital supermarkets Billa. The Agency found that several store brands of tobacco products were sold «at a price below the maximum retail price specified on the packs of tobacco products.»

The CPS has drawn network to administrative responsibility and fined. Billa with this decision has disagreed and has addressed in arbitration court the decision to cancel the service. The court, however, the application of the network left without satisfaction, as did the courts in the following instances.

The case reached the Supreme court, which refused Billa the transfer of cassational complaint for consideration in judicial Board on economic disputes. In the definition of the Russian armed forces, noted that the courts that have addressed the network, recognized the selling retailer of tobacco products «at low cost,» promoting sale or consumption of tobacco and violation of the prohibition of discounts, which is included in the anti-tobacco law.

«In this case itself acts aimed at attracting consumer interest in Smoking and (or purchase) tobacco products, is the stimulation of Smoking (sale) tobacco, tobacco products or tobacco products and, therefore, a violation of Federal law 15-FZ,» reads the definition.

A similar case occurred in the Sverdlovsk region in the fall of 2014. Then the management of the CPS found in one of the shops in the city of Revda (dot belonged to OOO «Amvik») of tobacco products below the price specified on the package. The company was fined with the decision has disagreed and has submitted an application to the court. However, its requirements were not met: the courts decided that «Amvik» used discounts on tobacco products.

Collision is the place to be

The research company Nielsen, which read the RIA Novosti news Agency, confirms that in recent years has increased the difference between the actual retail prices of a pack of cigarettes the maximum retail prices indicated on the packs. If in 2014 it is in average in Russia amounted to 5%, in 2015 — already 6,6%, in 2016 — 11.1%, and in January-September of the current year is 14.5%.

Thus in modern trade formats in Russian cities, the real retail price in 2014 was on average below the maximum 6% in 2015, 7.7%, in 2016 — by 12.4%, and for the first nine months of 2017 — 15.8%.

«There are some real legal conflict. And this loophole, of course, enjoy the tobacco manufacturers, and retail, to arrange discounts, coupon promotion, local or larger scale» — said the chief editor branch news Agency «Russian tobacco» Maxim Korolev.

CEO of the Association of manufacturers of tobacco production «Tabakprom» Andrew Mironov recognizes that the anti-Smoking law, there are two contradictory points.

«One item allows you to maneuver the price. There is a maximum retail price, and a 15-FZ States that you cannot sell cigarettes cheaper than 75% of the maximum retail price. And there is a interval of 25%, within which the manufacturer and other market participants can move the price,» he explains.

«Another article of the law says that advertising is forbidden and prohibited incentives. It is likely that this reduction from the maximum retail price in this interval can be considered as a kind of stimulation. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly define, is this stimulation, or is not,» he continues.

In turn PR-Director of the Association of retail companies (akort unites the largest Russian retail chain) Roman Chernigovtsev indicated that pricing of tobacco products in retail chains-members of the Association takes place in accordance with applicable law.

Conflict in the anti-tobacco law made it possible «discounts» on cigarettes© Fotolia / iofotoУченые called the perfect way to quit Smoking»It gives retailers the right to deviate from the maximum retail price of cigarettes by 25%. This is due to margins of retailers and usually does not affect the profitability of the manufacturer. The current practice to classify as «discount», the application of which in respect of tobacco products is prohibited, there is no reason, as in the business community under the discount is commonly understood as marked for marketing purposes the difference between the regular price of the item and temporarily reduced», — he said.

The health Ministry did not respond to a request by RIA Novosti. The Finance Ministry did not comment on the question of discounts on tobacco products, the Ministry forwarded the question to the Ministry of agriculture, which at the request of the Agency also did not respond.

Possible causes

Conflict in the anti-tobacco law made it possible «discounts» on cigarettes© Fotolia / vegeКурить — does not work: as the Russians want to wean from tabachuky editor of the «Russian tobacco» notes that the tobacco market today, you can observe price wars and the intensity of fighting in recent years is growing. «No other instruments of struggle for the buyer, the only thing is the price,» says Korolev.

First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on economic policy Sergey Kalashnikov has also recognized the problem of reductions due to deviations of the retail price.

«I can’t tell about the volume, but the things that are coming multiple signals about the situation — Yes. This is due to the fact that leaches the segment of cheap tobacco, and in these conditions there is a sufficiently large flow of counterfeit and smuggling. Of course, the desire of cigarette sellers, both wholesalers and specific as possible, make the goods attractive in price», — said the Senator.

«This competition for the consumer,» he adds. Another possible reason, according to him, it is excise duties. «Now the excise tax is such that, if before cigarettes were taken from Kaliningrad to Poland, and it was a huge smuggling business, but now they carry from Poland to Kaliningrad and further to Russia. That is, we have the excise duties become such that certain segments of tobacco products in the West cheaper than we do. Just cheap segment,» — said Kalashnikov.

The law needs adjustments?

First Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on budget and taxes Sergey Katasonov believes that the anti-Smoking law should clearly determine whether the reduced deviation of the actual retail price of a pack of cigarettes.

In the state Duma proposed to reduce the working week Smoking. Support?

  • Yes, this is true, those who do not go on a smoke break, work more
  • Better to extend the working day smokers
  • No, smoke breaks do not affect the efficiency of employees
  • I still


  • 42.6%

    Yes, this is true, those who do not go on a smoke break, work more

  • 14.3%

    Better to extend the working day smokers

  • 35.0%

    No, smoke breaks do not affect the efficiency of employees

  • 8.1%

    I still

All proygressive»If we write that discounts should not be, to encourage the consumption of tobacco products, and in another article we say that after all she might be no more than 25% — for a normal person, not a lawyer who works in the Ministry, the question arises: can still be off, or not,» says the Deputy.

«My point: I believe that there should be one thing,» continues Katasonov. According to him, to the end of the year the state Duma can to prepare and make the necessary to resolve ambiguity in the bill.

«We want to get away from the ambiguity and determine a single price: that which is written on the packaging, and should be the price at which trade on the shelf. The maximum retail price will still have meaning — we are not allowed to sell above it. But we do not give discounts,» — says the first Deputy head of the Committee.

Senator Kalashnikov agree that the anti-Smoking law should be adjusted. «Change it, of course, have committed no laws. In this case we are not talking about the 25%, we are talking about changing the system of taxation,» he points out.

Conflict in the anti-tobacco law made it possible «discounts» on cigarettes© RIA Novosti, Integratiebeleid in fotobanka happens if you quit Smoking