OREANDA-NEWS   Tobacco manufacturers have proposed tougher penalties for marketplaces for illegal sales of cigarettes and nicotine-containing goods, such as vapes and electronic cigarettes, Izvestia writes with reference to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

A representative of the ministry said that the idea could be considered at one of the meetings of the interdepartmental working group this year. It has already been conceptually supported in Rospotrebnadzor, the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Duma.

Marketplaces often neglect the legal ban on the sale of nicotine products on the Internet, so fines should be increased for such violations, according to the cigarette manufacturer JTI Russia. For particularly serious cases, you can also enter a pre-trial blocking of the site, as provided for alcohol. Currently, for ignoring the ban, sellers face a penalty of 50 thousand rubles for legal entities, and up to 3 thousand rubles for individuals.

The largest aggregators, in particular Ozon and Wildberries, told the newspaper that they do not sell such goods. Nevertheless, journalists found products on these sites that are visually similar to electronic cigarettes and nicotine delivery systems (IQOS).

The Ministry of Agriculture stated that they propose to block domain names, websites or individual pages with cigarettes and nicotine-containing products. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy Artem Kiryanov, speaking at one of the round tables on illicit trafficking in tobacco products, noted that now the maximum fines under the Administrative Code amount to about five million rubles, but such an amount cannot motivate marketplaces to restore order on their sites.

In this regard, the State Duma considers it fair to toughen penalties, for example, up to 3 percent of the annual turnover of the company. Then the fines will become billions. However, the president of the Association of Internet Commerce Companies (AKIT) Artem Sokolov said that such a measure does not correspond to the essence of the violation in scale.