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About the register

From the 6th April 2016, under The Tobacco Retailers Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, anyone running a tobacco business in Northern Ireland must register with the Tobacco Register NI.

Businesses must register by the 1st July 2016. You can register online or by paper at any time within this 3 month period.

We will check all applications to become registered, and will inform businesses within 28 days whether they have been registered.

The register will be accessible by the public.

It is an offence to carry on running a tobacco business without being registered on the Tobacco Register NI. Any business found selling tobacco while not being registered could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £500 or face a prosecution with a maximum fine of £5000.

Who needs to register?

Any person selling tobacco or cigarette papers must register their business.

If a person owns more than one business or premises, the person must be registered at each address.

It is an offence to carry on running a tobacco business without being registered on the Tobacco Register NI.

Anyone found guilty of an offence under Section 170 and 170b of Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 cannot apply to register a tobacco business for a period of five years.

A person or business on whom a Restricted Premises Order is in place will be unable to register for the period in which the Order applies.

Enforcement

The requirement to register is part of The Tobacco Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

The legislation is enforced by local councils, and Tobacco Control Officers will carry out regular checks on all tobacco businesses to check their compliance with the legislation.

Any business found to be carrying on a tobacco business without being registered may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £500 and may face prosecution and be fined up to £5000.

Any offences under this legislation will be held on record for five years, and if a business is guilty of three offences a council may apply for a Restricted Premises Order.

Anyone found guilty of an offence under Section 170 and 170b of Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 cannot apply to register a tobacco business for a period of five years.

A person or business on whom a Restricted Premises or Sale Order is in place will be unable to register for the period in which the Order applies.

Restricted Premises Order

Local councils can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Restricted Premises Order against any person or business that commits three tobacco related offences in any five year period.

This Order will prevent the sale of tobacco for between 28 days and 5 years, depending on the length of time granted.