By Ties Keyzer
The NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) will impose 19 fines to tobacco manufacturers who gave discounts and paid bonuses to tobacco retailers. These discounts and bonuses violate the ban on advertising, promoting or sponsoring tobacco products, as laid down in the Dutch Tobacco and Smoking Materials Act (Tabaks- en rookwarenwet). The NVWA started its investigation after The Investigative Desk discovered the existence of the illegal discounts and bonuses.
Tobacco retailers may be eligible for the bonuses when they display specific brands of cigarettes on the most visible spots on their counter or upon reaching a minimum sales level for a specific brand. The bonuses can add up to 3,000 euro a year per shop.
In the Netherlands, fines for violating the ban on the marketing of tobacco products start at 45,000 euros and can go up to 450,000 euros after multiple violations within a few years.