Independent retailers could suffer significant losses when new legislation on tobacco products comes into force in July, according to wholesalers. The threat comes from the introduction of the duty paid mark on cigarette and handrolling tobacco packaging. From July 1 it will be illegal for retailers to sell, or even have on their premises, any packets without the duty paid mark. Wholesalers had believed tobacco manufacturers would agree an industry solution to unsold packs, so that retailers could return them and be reimbursed. But with only weeks to go each manufacturer appears to be adopting a different policy, and each is warning that retailers can expect to recoup significantly less than they paid for any packs they return. Christopher Adams, chairman of the largest tobacco distributor, P&H McLane, said he was "urgently seeking clarification" from the tobacco manufacturers about the procures to be adopted and the level of refunds. Rod Hunt, managing director of Today's, said: "Wholesalers will not be able to give full credit if they are not going to receive it from the manufacturers. "Retailers won't be happy, but the wholesaler will have to be clear what they are receiving and demonstrate that to the retailer." A Booker spokesperson said: "It would appear to be more beneficial for independent retailers to clear their stock before June 30 by offering packs on promotion, rather than accept the partial credit the manufacturers are offering." However, wholesalers have won a concession from Customs & Excise. Originally they were told it would be illegal to have any non date marked products on their premises after June 30. But after protesting that would make it impossible for them to handle returns, they have been given an extension until July 31. {{NEWS }}