Cigars and the Norwegian Government

[Updated 22nd November to add link to the response to proposed new regulations]

As some of my readers knows, I'm an aficionado of Cigars, to the extent I bought my own Cigar Importer and Store. The picture below is from the 20th best bar in the world in 2017, and they sell our cigars of course!

But the government is certainly not making it easy to run any kind of store in Norway; Beside the regular bureaucracy that drives up the cost of businesses, there are severe anti-tobacco drivers that impacts a cigar store, including tobacco taxes. The tobacco taxes are of course only paid by those of us trying to run a legal business, and not by the numerous customers importing illegally directly or buying obviously non-taxed cigars.

Sweden's minister of Businsess, Bjørn Rosengren, in 1999, proclaimed Norway as the last soviet state. There are few reasons to doubt that the Norwegian Nanny-state has only one goal of reducing the individual's rights and growth of small businesses with a volatile regulation and increased reporting requirements. The Swede's observation continues to serve as an acute observation.

Augusto has previously participated in responses to changes to regulation in several rounds, including Plain tobacco packaging in 2015 and tobacco regulation in 2016. This time around, though, the Norwegian government was in a rush. The government required a rash ratification to give Norway the opportunity to participate in the international cooperation against illegal trade with tobacco products. This rush is the reason that the change to regulation for tobacco product regulation is sent out with less than 6 weeks of time to reply, even thought the minimum requirement in Norway is normally 3 months. Of course, the hearing, doesn't mention that the reason for the delay is the government not having bothered to send out something since 2014.

The issue is increased further with the government stating that the  expectation is that the continuing regulation the next years will be under development and changes to laws and regulations are to be expected. Does that mean that the businesses will be expected to further have to react to uncertain frameworks with short timelines? Even the Norwegian department states that there are may parallel changes the last few years, something that has caused a bit of uncertainty in the systemics of the law.

The administration of the regulations becomes even worse when the government on a whim decides to changes practices that have been working for more than 20 years; mainly the administration of warning labels to cigars imported in Norway; without even a hint ahead of time: So a pallet of cigars that was legally imported by a competitor of ours got destructed and they were fined for it. And this happened even though international cigar stores regularly sends boxes of cigars to Norwegian customers without any reaction to it.

Today Augusto Cigars is working on its its response to the changes to regulation on illegal imports of tobacco in Norway (which will also be in Norwegian). If  you like cigars you might also have something to add to this discussion ahead of the 22nd of November deadline.

Update 22nd November: Link to Augusto's response

3 thoughts on “Cigars and the Norwegian Government”

  1. Afaik , it is an european plan which is related to a sovereign right : a frontier.
    Import/export is a dpt where you are allowed to be the manager of the illegal trade and custums is the new army for regulating the market (tobacco is one product, alcohol another etc.).

    Running a legal business is your affairs and you pay with your taxes the illegal trade & helped their customers.

    A comparison about the same laws in the e.u for the same products implies that which it was hidden is now opened.

    Of course, regulating an international market you will lost the frontiers that will be given to foreigners, residents, strangers.
    This sneak project is maybe an umbrella for the benefit of a large company or for a commercial fair trade (we are all consumers first & making consumers is easier than civilize a wild man and it is the task of the embassies) or own the two sides on the same coin by cupidity or building another society, community for another people with another products.

    Someone else, less inspired & better informed should say that if you cannot smoke your favorite cigar , you will be redirected to another pleasure.
    This deregulation is the step 2.

    The step 3 is well known : speculation.

    The trouble with history or politics (when they do exist) is this vice to still be recalled at the same intervals.

    1. You are certainly correct that the additional tracking only benefits the big producers of cigarettes as they already have it implemented, to the devastation of smaller producers of cigars and pipe tobacco.

      1. High quality & large quantity allow to modify a behavior & create a new style of life labelled according on a social class (which it does not exist in most republic so you pay one at a cheaper price).

        A lot of studies was made about the difference of a safe product (pipe tobacco & cigars) & a dangerous one (cigarettes).
        It seems that the consumers in this market prefer a poison than a medicine.

        - the pipe tobacco is safer but it is reserved for gentlemen.
        It seems that the consumers in this market prefer a world without education_human rights (norway is involved in a famous case).

        - the smaller producer of cigars are luckier : the good reputation of their product is a good investment.
        It seems that the concurrence is loyal in front of so many varieties that offer the producers of pipe tobacco & cigarettes.

        It is just an appearance : the cigarettes market is a luxury one since a long time.
        The more it will be taxed & imported the more it will be implemented with success.

        It is just an appearance : the cigars market is democratized since a long time.
        The more it will be rejected the more it will be chosen as a style of life.

        It is just an appearance : the pipe tobacco market is special & prepared with an infinite attention.
        The more it will be limited in its flavor, the more it will be preferred.

        The winner is the illegal market : it is the freedom hidden port struggling against the oppression & obscurantism.

        The big producers of cigarettes apply a rude policy showing as a result the devastation of smaller producers of cigars and pipe tobacco.
        The importation taxes created a war (u.s.a, fr, china etc.) so the subject is more this one :
        does a native resident has the genuine right to decide instead of all or must this right be delegated to an alien ?

        The products related at an international market build the civilization and by compliance, destroy personal life as example of a disappeared power.

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