Article 15, paragraph 7, of the TPD imposes upon the manufacturers the obligation to provide all economic operators (“EOs”) involved in the tobacco trade (until the last EO before the first retail outlet) with the equipment that is necessary for the recording of the tobacco products purchased, sold, stored, transported or otherwise handled. That equipment shall be able to read and transmit the recorded data electronically to the repositories system.
The manufacturers participating to the SPOC model, listed in ("Participating Manufacturers
”) are of the view that the EOs should be free to choose (within reasonable limits) the most suitable option relevant to their business as long as the solution chosen will enable them to scan the various types of codes required by the IAs, record the data associated with them, format and transmit the data into the repositories system as prescribed by the EU Commission.
The Participating Manufacturers also believe that the most efficient way for them to equip the EOs, for the benefit of the entire distribution chain, is to manage this process through an independent third-party service provider. The independent third party is to serve as a single point of contact (SPOC) for the EOs, because most of them do not have direct contracts with the Participating Manufacturers. The SPOC will assess, based on an objective criteria, the scanners and the software required, and reimburse the costs incurred for the purchase of such equipment, by an EO.