Smoked Tobacco Products

This section will provide information about the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (SERPA) and how it regulates smoked tobacco products in New Zealand and what that means for retailers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of smoked tobacco products.

In the future, you will find information for:

  • Retailers
  • Manufacturers and importers
  • Distributors

Latest updates

11 January 2023 New record keeping requirements

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act received Royal assent on Friday 16 December 2022 and new provisions came into effect from 1 January 2023.

Under the new provisions, manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers of regulated products (smoked tobacco, vaping, herbal smoking and smokeless tobacco products) are responsible for keeping accurate records relating to all of their regulated products.

Manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers of a regulated product must take reasonable steps to keep accurate records of:

  1. all the regulated products that they manufacture, import, export, buy, sell, or supply; and
  2. for a manufacturer, the constituents required by regulations to be recorded that the manufacturer uses or intends to use in the manufacture of each regulated product.

Records must be kept for 3 years from the date of each transaction.

An enforcement officer may require a person to provide a copy of the records kept under this section by notice in writing.

The person must provide the enforcement officer with a copy of the records, in the format required in the notice, within 10 working days of receiving the notice.

Our expectation is that manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers will already be keeping accurate records as part of their normal business practice. There is no particular format that businesses must use for their records – it will depend on each business’s management system. The Act requires records to be kept for 3 years and requires them to be provided to an enforcement officer upon request by written notice. The enforcement officer will stipulate in the notice whether the records should be provided in paper or electronic format, and how they should be delivered. Only existing records in their existing format will need to be provided.

The Act does not specify exactly what records must be kept but our expectation is that records would include:

For manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers

  • what products they have purchased, who they purchased them from and when
  • what products they have sold and when
  • purchase and sale prices

In addition, for manufacturers, importers and exporters

  • who they sold products to and when
  • batch/serial numbers of products bought and sold

In addition, for manufacturers

  • constituents used or intended to be used in the manufacture of each regulated product
  • what constituents they have purchased, who they purchased them from and when
  • batch/serial numbers of constituents bought and sold.

SERPA Regulations 2023

Regulations that will significantly reduce the retail availability, appeal and addictiveness of smoked tobacco products are needed to fully deliver legislative changes under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act.

From 4 January to 15 March 2023, New Zealanders can have their say about proposed smoked tobacco regulations that will support the country in its goal to achieve a smokefree future by 2025. The proposed regulations cover a range of areas, including the smoked tobacco retail reduction scheme, low nicotine cigarette testing requirements, fees and notification requirements. The proposals also include possible new measures to strengthen existing regulations on vaping products.

Have your say on the proposed smoked tobacco regulations

Make a complaint

If your complaint is about tobacco sales to under 18s or smoking in a workplace, then contact your local Public Health Service 

For all other complaints, contact [email protected]


  • Read more about the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990

Retailers

  • Check back for updates

Manufacturers and importers

  • Check back for updates

Distributors

  • Check back for updates
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