THE EUROPEAN Union's Council of Ministers has agreed proposals to further harmonise manufactured tobacco sold within the EU, albeit a watered-down package compared with that tabled by the European Commission earlier this year.

Ministers accepted that the fixed minimum amount of excise duty per 1,000 cigarettes would be Euro 60 from July 1, 2002, rising to Euro 64 from July 1, 2006. Member States having to increase their rates could apply the Euro 60 minimum from January 1, 2005. Also Spain and Greece could apply the Euro 64 rate from ...

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