The Standards Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf GCC STANDARDIZ


Labeling of Tobacco Product Packages

Date of authorization by the Board of Directors: 09/09/1432 AH (August 9, 2011)

Effective date of specification: August 9, 2011

Issue Form: Technical Regulation

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

Introduction

The GCC Standardization Organization is a regional organization whose membership includes the national specifications and standards agencies of the Gulf countries. Among the organization’s tasks is the formulation of standard specifications for the Gulf Countries through specialized technical committees.

Within the agenda of the Gulf Technical Committee number 5, “The Agricultural and Food Product Specifications Division," the GCC Standardization Organization has updated Gulf Technical Regulation number GSO 246/1994, "Labeling of Tobacco Product Packages," and the Sultanate of Oman has prepared the draft of this regulation.

This technical regulation for the Gulf countries was authorized at meeting number 14 of the Organization’s management board, held on 09/09/1432 AH (August 9, 2011), with the proviso that Gulf technical regulation number GSO 246/1994 is abrogated and replaced by the new regulation.

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

Labeling of Tobacco Product Packages

  1. Scope:

This technical regulation for the Gulf countries pertains to the explanatory information that is required to be written on the package labels of tobacco products.

  1. Supplementary References:

  2. GSO 597 "Cigarettes"

  3. GSO 1415 “Moassel Tobacco”

  4. GSO 1501 "Moassel Tobacco with Fruit Flavors"

  5. GSO 2048 "Tobacco and Tobacco Products – Snuffing tobacco”

  6. GSO 2049 "Tobacco and Tobacco Products – Chewing tobacco"

  7. GSO 2050 "Mixed Pipe Tobacco"

  8. GSO 2047 "Cigars and Tuscany Cigars"

  9. GSO 2051 "Tobacco and Tobacco products – Cigaritos"

  10. Definitions:

3.1 Cigarettes:

A tobacco product for smoking consisting of a long paper wrapper with an approximately cylindrical sectional form that contains pieces of tobacco, either with or without a filter, which may be an ordinary filter or a filter with side ventilation channels

3.2 Tobacco:

A mix of plants of the Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica species

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

3.3 Tobacco Products:

Any product that consists wholly or partially of tobacco leaves as a raw material, manufactured for the purpose of smoking, chewing, snuffing, or sucking (such as cigarettes, loose cigarette tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco, moassel tobacco, water pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuffing tobacco)

3.4 Moassel Tobacco:

Finely cut tobacco derived from a mix of plants of the Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica species and/or any mix of both to which is added sugarcane syrup (black honey) or black honey, molasses and glycerin.

3.5 Chewing Tobacco

Tobacco produced by cutting and folding the tobacco leaves into wide strips so that they are chewable. It can be mixed with spices, areca nut, betel leaves, or milk products.

3.6 Snuffing Tobacco:

A tobacco powder with added sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, or both that is used by snuffing it. It may also have edible salt, sesame oil, other oils, or edible aromatic extracts added.

3.7 Data Label:

Any label, tag, mark, picture, or any other descriptive data written, printed, stamped, or affixed to the package.

3.8 Descriptive Data:

Any writing, pictures, or graphics on the package’s information label.

3.9 Package:

Any materials in which the product is directly packaged for sale as a separate unit when offered to the consumer; what is meant here is the individual package.

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

3.10 Batch number:

A code for a quantity of the product that was produced under the same conditions during a specific period of time, usually for a specific product line and production unit

3.11 Main display area

The front and back panels of the package. If this is not easily identifiable, the largest area is considered the front panel and the second largest area is considered the back panel.

  1. Requirements:

4.1 General requirements

4.1.1 Names, symbols, marks, or pictures that violate public order must not be used.

4.1.2 The product must not be described or shown on a label or in descriptive data in such a way that it could result in a mistaken impression about its attributes or convey the idea that it is less harmful, with the use of such terms as: light, extra light, gentle, low tar, zero nicotine or tar, mild, low, and similar terms.

4.1.3 The information must be clear and easily legible to the consumer under normal purchasing and usage circumstances.

4.1.4 The colors used for writing the information must be distinctly different from the background colors.

4.1.5 The health warning and the percentages of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide must be written in Arabic and English, while other information may be written in English only.

4.1.6 The manufacturers can enlarge, reduce, or standardize the image to adjust it for the different sizes of cigarette packages, while taking into account the provisions in Articles 4.1 and 4.3.

4.1.7 The information must be written directly on the package, not on the package’s outer cellophane wrapper or the product name sticker.

4.1.8 The owners of the product trademarks must submit an annual list of the ingredients of their products available for consumption in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The owners of these products must also notify the GCC Standardization Organization of any change in the ingredients of any product within three months of such a change.

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

4.2 Information requirements for tobacco package labeling:

The following information must be written on tobacco package labeling:

4.2.1 The product name and trademark

4.2.2 The number of cigarettes or the equivalent, or the weight of other tobacco products at time of packaging

4.2.3 The production date in month and year format

4.2.4 The percentage of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide on cigarette packages, and the percentage of nicotine on other tobacco products

4.2.5 The batch number

4.2.6 The country of origin, manufacture, or packaging

4.2.7 The statement "For sale in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries"

4.2.8 A health warning about the harmful effects of using tobacco and tobacco products

4.3 The requirements for health warnings and images:

4.3.1 The area for the image and warning must be no less than 50% of the main display area (including the frame) at the bottom of both the front and back panels of the package.

4.3.2 The area with writing must be no more than 40% of the total area of the warning, and it must be in Arabic on the front panel and in English on the back panel and at the bottom part of the package.

4.3.3 The text of the Arabic warning must be written in black on a white background using the Simplified Arabic font. The text of the English warning must be written in the Times New Roman font. The font size of the text in both languages must be not less than 12 points and in bold style. The arrangement of statements and warnings in both languages must follow the requirements mentioned above.

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

4.3.4 The warnings shall be written in such a way that it is difficult to remove them in any way, and so that the text is not hidden or concealed or overlapping with other text or image, and so that it is not affected by opening the package. This must be taken into account when printing the images.

4.3.5 Both warnings must be surrounded by a black frame that is 1 mm thick.

4.3.[6] The images and health warning shall be copied to a CD that must be appended to the specification.

4.3.[7] The images and health warning shall be changed as required by the public interest.

Gulf Standard Specification GSO 246/2011

Technical Terms

Alm[o]assel tobacco............................................................................................................ تبغ المعسل

Cigarettes ................................................................................................................................. سجائر

Tobacco ...................................................................................................................................... التبغ

Chewing tobacco ............................................................................................................... تبغ المضغة

Snuffing tobacco ................................................................................................................. تبغ النشوق

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