British American Tobacco: “BAT is fully compliant with EU track and trace….We implement robust supply chain control measures, policies and procedures to prevent our products from becoming part of this criminal trade and believe these same standards should apply across all supply chains that involve tobacco, tobacco products and tobacco machinery equipment.”
Japan Tobacco International: “We reject all allegations of involvement in the illegal trade of our products. We have absolutely nothing to gain from illegal activities that damage our business, our brands and our reputation… From day one, we have complied with the new EU-wide tracking and tracing (T&T) system. We do not promote one single provider as we consider the development of multiple T&T capacities will encourage innovation and enhance competition.”
Imperial Brands: “We are totally opposed to smuggling, which only benefits the criminals involved… We work proactively with governments and law enforcement agencies worldwide to provide training, support investigations, and conduct forensic analysis of seized tobacco products, as well as to provide guidance on AIT initiatives to ensure action is taken to protect our brands.”
In a written response, Inexto said it is currently working on more than 450 production lines where tobacco products are being made to sell in the EU or are being produced inside a member state.
Because it does not meet the Tobacco Products Directive’s independence rules, which bar former tobacco industry employees from being involved, the company says it isn’t working on the “upper layers” of the EU’s system, including the primary and secondary data repositories and ID systems.
In light of what the company called an “unprecedented exclusion within Article 35” of the TPD, Inexto said it is focusing on the “industrial implementation of serialization and aggregation on very high-speed production lines.”
The company’s software is being used to ensure “seamless communication” between national ID issuing systems, primary repositories and manufacturers’ infrastructure.
However, the company disputed allegations that it is too close to the tobacco industry, calling them “entirely unfounded and perpetrated by other parties for their gain.”
“INEXTO is neither part of the tobacco industry nor is it representing the interests of the tobacco industry,” the company said in an email.
They said claims Inexto bought Codentify for one Swiss franc were “inaccurate, if not a blatant mistruth” spread by rival companies and industry bodies. They said the deal was in fact a “multi-million euro transaction” by its parent, Impala, but did not give more details.
Inexto also said it had redeveloped the original Codentify software to the extent that it is now a “completely new product line” which works across industries such as food and drink, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals.
Asked about the discussion of the “arms-length service agreement” with tobacco executives, Inexto said it had simply been offering advice on meeting regulatory requirements. “This was the purpose of the discussions… No more, no less.”