Press release; Nov 28, 2008 10:01 AM CET

Swedish Match welcomes an important step to normalize trade in the EU

Swedish Match welcomes the government’s decision today to start a process aimed at ultimately lifting the ban on the export of Swedish snus to consumers within the European Union.

“The government’s move is an important first step towards the normalization of Sweden’s trade relationship with the rest of the E.U. Swedish Match looks forward to the current ban being replaced by clear product regulation that would allow us to compete with our quality products on the same conditions as other Swedish companies,” said Patrik Hildingsson, Vice President Public Affairs at Swedish Match. He was commenting on the decision by the Swedish Government to ask the EU Commission for a review of the export ban on Swedish snus in the EU.

“The export ban on snus has always been difficult to justify. For Swedish Match, Sweden’s membership of the EU has effectively shut the doors to neighbouring markets, contradicting the founding principles of the EU to open up for increased trade. Regulations banning the export of traditional products do not belong in a union founded on free trade,” Patrik Hildingsson said.

In the interests of Swedish trade, the government’s call on the Commission is in principle important, but there is a risk that a review of existing regulations will be a drawn out process. Swedish Match urges the Swedish government to actively pursue a phasing out of the export ban, and the Trade Minister’s letter is a welcome first step.

Swedish Match is a global Group with a broad offering of market-leading brands in smokefree tobacco products, cigars, pipe tobacco and lights products. The Group’s global operations generated sales of 13,061 MSEK for the twelve month period ending September 30, 2008. The Swedish Match share is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm (SWMA).

Swedish Match AB (publ), SE-118 85 Stockholm
Visiting address: Rosenlundsgatan 36, Telephone: +46 8 658 02 00
Corporate Identity Number: 556015-0756

For further information, please contact:
Patrik Hildingsson, Vice President Group Public Affairs, Swedish Match
Tel: +46 – 8 – 658 04 02, Mobil: +46 – 76-819 38 70
Henrik Olsson, Director Public Affairs North Europe Group
Tel: +46 – 8 – 658 02 02, Mobil: +46 – 70-577 40 39