ANNOUNCEMENT 04 Jun 2009In June 2009, the government of Canada announced an alteration to its export prohibitions.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
For the text of Bill C-32, see:
Parliament of Canada, Act to Amend the Tobacco Act, 10 June 2009, http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4003270&Language=e&Mode=1&File=30#2
For discussion of the effect of the Bill on trade, see:
Barry McKenna, Ban on flavoured tobacco sparks US ire, Globe and Mail, 18 June 2009, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/ban-on-flavoured-tobacco-sparks-us-ire/article1184680/
Statutes of Canada, Chapter 27 including the amending act:
On 4 June 2009, the House of Commons passed Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Tobacco Act. The Act seeks to address the issues of little cigars, flavoured tobacco and tobacco advertising geared to youth. Of particular concern are little cigars and tobacco blunts with fruit or candy flavouring, which the Government believes are targeted at youth. Bill C-32 bans the use of additives, defined as substances other than natural or reconstituted tobacco, in tobacco products weighing less than 1.4g. The prohibition of such products would apply both to production located in Canada as well as imported cigarettes and tobacco products.
American tobacco producers claim that Bill C-32 is discriminatory in effect, as Canadian producers of cigarettes do not use additives, but American producers do. The difference lies in the tobacco leaf processed, as Canadian firms use Virginia tobacco, which is mild and does not require flavouring, while American firms make their cigarettes from Tennessee and Kentucky tobacco, which has a harsher taste. Canadian Minister of Health Aglukkaq has admitted that the Bill will ban 'American blend' cigarettes from the Canadian market, which the Minister claimed account for 0.5% of sales in the Canadian tobacco market.
Bill C-32 has now passed to the Senate for deliberations and will not be voted on until the upper house of the Canadian legislature is reconvened in September. Should the Act pass the Senate in its current form, it will require Royal Assent from Governor-General Michaëlle Jean to become law.
The Senate finally approved Bill C-32 on 8 October 2009 and it is effective since the day following approval.