Ottawa, August 6, 2009
2009-075

Archived - Enhanced Tobacco Stamping Regime to Deter Contraband Tobacco

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released draft amendments to the Excise Act, 2001 and the Customs Act to support an enhanced stamping regime for tobacco products. This represents a further step in the Government of Canada's commitment to disrupt and reduce the trade of contraband tobacco.

A new excise stamp with sophisticated security features is expected to be introduced by the Canada Revenue Agency in 2010 to help law enforcement officials more easily distinguish between legitimate duty-paid tobacco products and counterfeit or contraband products. These stamps are required to be affixed to tobacco product packages to indicate that the federal excise duty has been paid. In support of the new stamp, the tobacco taxation framework will also be amended to provide new controls over the production, distribution and possession of these stamps.

"This is an important step that builds on measures introduced in Budget 2008," said Minister Flaherty. "These new measures will support the Government of Canada's health objective of reducing the availability of contraband tobacco products."

The enhanced stamping regime is expected to come into effect in 2010. Releasing the legislative proposals in draft form now provides the tobacco industry with advance notice of how the regime is intended to work and time to prepare accordingly. Additional details are provided in the explanatory notes that accompany this release.

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food), will also be releasing complementary draft regulatory proposals for the enhanced stamping regime in the near future.

"These amendments will implement an enhanced stamping regime to help combat tobacco contraband and are the result of several years of development and consultation activities with industry, provinces and our government enforcement partners," said Minister Blackburn.

Comments on the draft legislation should be directed to the following address by September 4, 2009 so they can be considered before amendments are tabled in Parliament:

Department of Finance Canada
Sales Tax Division
Excise Taxation Section
L'Esplanade Laurier
16th floor, East Tower
140 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5

___________________________________
For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

David Gamble
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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