On August 14, 2017, the Executive Branch passed Decree No. 7605 – regulating Law No. 5538/2015 – geared to protecting the population from the harm caused by tobacco products.
The decree has been enacted in accordance with the WHO Convention for Tobacco Control approved by Paraguay in 2006, equating local regulations with those imposed at regional and international levels. The main objective of the regulation is to establish the necessary measures to protect the population from the harmful effects that tobacco-related goods may cause, both in consumers as well as in those who are exposed to the smoke from such goods, in relation to population’s social, environmental and economic spheres; and the State as responsible for ensuring their quality of life.
Among the most relevant aspects implemented by this regulation, standards have been set for the packaging and labeling of tobacco-related goods, including products for retail sale. On this regard, four types of designs will be applied on said packages, alternated in groups. A group would be printed during 2018 and the designs of the second group would be applied by 2019.
Moreover, direct printing of warnings and legends for the external packaging and labeling of tobacco related-goods for retail sale has been stipulated. Such warnings must cover 40% of the package. Warnings or legends should not be altered or hidden by manufacturers and distributors.
Additionally, a warning will be printed covering a whole lateral side of the package. The legend must indicate the substances released by the combustion of the products. Also, the mentioned legend should be printed in a color contrasting the background colors of the package.
One of the main innovations established by the current regulation is the imposition of the legends printed in Guarani language. In this way, the legend in Spanish must be printed in the front side of the package and the legend in Guarani must be printed on the back side. This aims to provide greater effectiveness to the warnings that were already present in the packages.
The regulation establishes a period of 6 months from the notification issued by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPBS, in Spanish) to each manufacturer and/or importer of tobacco-related goods registered before the National Directorate of Sanitary Surveillance (DINAVISA, in Spanish) for the implementation of such dispositions. In case the mentioned modifications are not applied, the importers will not be able to subject such goods to Customs Clearance; and the industries, to manufacture them. The sanctions determined for infringement or violation of the Decree follows the criteria previously established by Law 5538/2015.
In addition, with this regulation, DINAVISA is now in charge of the tobacco control programs, which is dependent on the MSPBS.
Finally, it must be considered that, with this regulation, the requirement of having a granted trademark registration of tobacco-related goods remains in force, so that the MSPBS through DINAVISA, grants the pertinent certificate to the manufacturers and importers of said goods.