The Guyana National Bureau of Standards recently seized 542 packs of cigarettes that do not meet the requirements of the National Standard “GYS 9-3:2014 Labelling of Tobacco Products” and the Tobacco Control Regulation of 2018.
A release from the GNBS said the items were seized from a number of sale outlets in Regions Three, Four, Five, and Six, following surveillance inspections conducted.
“During surveillance visits to shops and supermarkets, GNBS Inspectors found several brands of cigarettes, which were not labeled in English, while other packages did not include a pictorial warning as specified by the Tobacco Control Regulation. The Regulation specifies that pictorial warnings should be placed on each packet and must cover 60% of the top front and back of the packets,” the statement said.
Additionally, Inspectors found that some packets did not include a declaration relating to the information of the manufacturer, importer or distributor.
Some of the brands seized were not approved for sale in Guyana.
The GNBS said its inspectors conduct regular surveillance to ensure that Tobacco products, which do not conform to the requirements, are not sold to local consumers.
“Such items are seized and destroyed. Earlier this year, the GNBS destroyed 290,000 packs of imported cigarettes found at Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). The cigarettes, which were branded “US Mild 1” and imported from Brazil by a local business, were destroyed at the Lethem dumpsite in the presence of the GNBS Inspector stationed in the Region. Additionally, in 2020, our Inspectors seized 664 packets of cigarettes, which were also destroyed,” the inspection agency said.
As the body continues surveillance exercises across the country, importers and dealers are being reminded to ensure that their products adhere to the requirements of the standard and regulation.
Retailers are also cautioned against purchasing cigarettes, which do not contain warnings and other required information on the individual packages.