Turkey - court overrules TAPDK on tobacco labels..

December 13, 2009 - The 13th Chamber of the Council of State (highest administrative court in Turkey) has ruled against a Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency (TAPDK) regulation which stipulates that a warning on one side of cigarette packaging must cover at least 65 percent of the available surface space, citing contradicting TAPDK regulations.

The Council of State said Law No. 4207 requires that at least 30 percent of one of the two main sides of tobacco product packaging -- where the banderole is located -- contain a warning about the effects of tobacco on health. The law further requires that other warnings must cover 40 percent of the rest of the package. The Council of State decision further stated that the TAPDK decision contradicts the law as it envisages warning labels on one surface and covering 65 percent of that surface.

British American Tobacco (BAT) previously filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the TAPDK regulation, which was issued on May 3, 2009.

In its decision the Council of State said regulations put in place to prevent the harmful effects, including public, social and medical, of tobacco and alcohol and making decisions concerning these issues are among the duties of the TAPDK.

The Council of State decision also noted that warning labels can include pictures and drawings.

The TAPDK has the right to appeal the Council of State decision.

Reference: Court overrules TAPDK on tobacco labels, Today's Zaman, 12/11/2009.

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