Surviving the EU Tobacco Products Directive
The EU tobacco products directive has completely transformed the tobacco supply chain. In short, this order requires any applicable wholesaler or distributor that handles cigarettes to know exactly when each individual pack was received and track its flow through shipping—that’s every single pack—or suffer a hefty fine for non-compliance. This change has added a major burden to the the business operations of companies within the European Union (EU) and how they control the receipt, handling and shipment or delivery of acquired tobacco products.
At Scandit, we specialise in making data capture easy and affordable for businesses across a range of industries. So today, we’ll be diving into the requirements put forth by the EU tobacco products directive—as well as technology tools you can use to comply while keeping your business workflows fast, efficient and profitable.
New Reporting Requirements for Tobacco Distributors
Thanks to the EU tobacco products directive, all distributors of tobacco goods need to report on a wide variety of events to the European Union. These instances include the arrival of products, dispatch of products, and information on invoices, payment and purchase orders of all tobacco products. Failure to comply with these new reporting regulations can result in severe fines from the EU—or loss of the right to distribute tobacco products entirely.
Many tobacco distributors have invested in specialized scanning technology to remain compliant with the directive—including dedicated hardware scanners, smart device-based scanning apps and more. But, which is the best product scanning solution for your enterprise? Here’s a recap on some of your potential choices.
Data Capture Solutions for EU Tobacco Compliance
Traditional Barcode Scanners
Conventional dedicated scanners can quickly and accurately scan the DotCodes and Datamatrix codes on cigarette packaging—making them a popular choice among tobacco distributors. Despite their impressive performance, traditional barcode scanners can’t keep up in cost efficiency. Not only are they expensive to purchase and maintain, but they can also be challenging for staff to operate without training—generating a daunting total cost of ownership (TCO). So while these solutions are serviceable for EU compliance, the drawback is cost.
Smart Device-Based Scanning Apps
The upfront appeal of smart device-based apps is cost. The buying price of consumer smart devices is significantly lower than dedicated scanning hardware—and these solutions are often easier to train staff on due to the universality of smartphones, tablets and other smart devices. The only challenges here are performance and flexibility. Many app-based scanning solutions struggle to accurately capture compact barcode symbologies—especially in poor lighting and other adverse scanning conditions—and some are incompatible with obsolete device models.
So if you need a user-friendly mobile data capture solution that can match the enterprise-grade performance of dedicated scanners you’ll want to examine a third option:
High-Performance Smart Device-Based Scanning Apps Suitable for Tobacco Products
Scandit scanning software transforms nearly any consumer smart device into an enterprise-grade barcode scanner—even when using obsolete device models. This versatile solution brings unmatched scanning speed and accuracy to barcode scanning apps, including reading small DotCodes and Datamatrix codes on cigarette packets. Scandit scanning can also reliably process dirty, damaged or poorly lit barcodes at difficult angles—bringing dependability and flexibility to your business workflows and supporting your EU Directive compliance.
By using a Scandit-powered scanning app, your team can capture all relevant barcode data at the tap of a button. Once captured, this information can be automatically transferred to a track and trace cloud to ensure it reaches the EU repositories system in the correct format. No expensive hardware investments, no unreliable capture processes—just fast, efficient and affordable results.
Because Scandit barcode scanning works across a range of symbologies, it’s a natural choice for scanning cigarette packaging with small DotCodes and Datamatrix codes. Scandit-powered apps can accurately capture these challenging, tightly packed codes with a single tap of the screen.
How Scandit Technology Reduces TCO
Thanks to the flexibility of our mobile data capture technology, your team can even scan tobacco products using outdated smart devices. Use refurbished or reconditioned smart devices on the secondary market to reduce costs —or implement a BYOD (bring your own device) policy using employee smart devices to reduce costs even further. Most of your staff already use smart device apps in their daily lives, which means little to no training and fast adoption across your supply chain.
We also offer the Scandit Case for businesses looking for a point-to-scan accessory that protects their smart devices. This robust solution for Android and iOS devices features no breakable electronic components and allows users to leverage all other smartphone features, significantly reducing TCO compared to dedicated scanners. The Scandit Case makes it easy to illuminate barcodes in dark settings and maintain a natural scan position for fast, efficient data capture. Best of all, the case operates with no additional battery drain—which keeps your product scanning workflows moving at full speed.
Make EU Compliance Easier & Less Costly With Scandit
Ready to see firsthand how the Scandit platform can redefine your mobile data capture processes? Then be sure to check out our Demo App for iOS, Android and Windows smartphones. This free hands-on trial is a great way to decide whether our solution is the right investment for your enterprise.
Last but not least, feel free to contact our team to learn more about how you can leverage smart device technology to reduce business costs and remain compliant with the EU tobacco products directive. We’d be happy to help.