In February 2022, the Minister of Health issued the Decision no. (3) of 2022 regarding the labelling requirements that must appear on tobacco products including cigarettes (the “Decision”).
The Decision regulates the mandatory information and signs that must be written or displayed on tobacco products, including cigarettes packs, before they are distributed in the market.
It should also be noted that the GCC Standardization Organization (“GSO”) applies certain specifications that are also required to be observed by the tobacco manufacturer when designing the tobacco product’s pack.
In addition to the general requirements and rules enshrined under the Consumer Protection Law No. (8) of 2008, the Decision further regulates the labelling and packaging requirements of tobacco products given the negative health impacts of such products on human body and the surrounding environment.
The Decision provides under Article (1) the information that must appear on the tobacco product’s pack. This information are as follows:
1. Product’s name and the tradename.
2. Number of cigarettes and weight recorded during the packaging process for other tobacco products.
3. Production date and expiration date in (month/year) format.
4. Batch number.
Country of origin, country of manufacturing and country of packaging.
The Decision also requires clearly displayed “warning signs” associated with smoking tobacco, according to the following rules:
1.The statement of “Smoking is very harmful to health and causes death” shall be clearly written in Arabic language on the front of the pack in black on a white background using the Simplified Arabic The same statement shall also be written in English on the back of the pack on a white background using the Times New Roman font. The size of the letters in both texts shall not be less than (12 Bold), and the warning is surrounded by a black frame with a thickness of (1) mm.
2. The total size of the warning shall not be less than 60% of the total pack’s size.
3. The warning sign shall be written clearly and legibly, in a different color than the background color and cannot be easily removed. The text must not be hidden, ambiguous, overlapping with other text or image, or affected by opening the pack.
4. The product must not be described with a label or description that may give an unrealistic impression of its specifications, or that is less harmful, such as light, very light or similar statements.
5. The health warning and the percentage of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide must be written in a conspicuous place and on both sides of each cigarette package.
6. The information shall be clearly written on the pack itself and not on the outer package.
7. The pack shall not include any symbol, sign or writing that violates the public order in Qatar.
8. The image and the health warning shall not be less than 50% of the pack, including the basic display area on the bottom of the package and on the front and back sides.
9. Images and health warnings must be placed on a CD and attached to the specifications.
The Decision provides all concerned parties a grace period of three months which may be renewed for a similar period for those subject to the Decision to rectify their legal positions and comply with the Decision.
For more information about the Decision, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Salman Al-Ansari Ahmed Hassan
Partner Senior Associate
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