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About the register

From 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.

Enforcement

The requirement to register is part of The Tobacco Retailers 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 or Sale Order.

Anyone who has received a custodial sentence for 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 during which the Order applies.

Restricted Premises or Sale Order

Local councils can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Restricted Premises or Sale 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, either on a premises or by individual, or both, for between 28 days and 3 years, depending on the length of time granted.