A few retailers have asked me how EU e-cig regulations will affect them.Numerous rumours are swirling around – many of them hopelessly wrong. One week I was told menthol e-liquid is going to be banned. (It’s not!) Last week one of our resellers sent us through a comprehensive list of questions, which both spurred me into action and steered the format of this post!
1. Are e-cigs now medicalised?
No. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated vaping activists, the EU’s attempt to medicalise e-cigs was defeated.
While companies have the option to go for a medical license, this is not mandatory. In any case, the costs are beyond the resources of small to medium sized companies, and daunting even for larger companies, with only BAT achieving a medical e-cig so far.
2. As an e-cig retailer, will my shop need any form of Special Licence or Insurance under the TPD?
No license is or will be required to sell e-cigs or e-liquid. However, we always recommend you have insurance, and buy from suppliers which have product liability insurance.
3. Besides product knowledge, would I or my staff need any extra training to sell e-cigs?
You do not need any additional product knowledge or training. However, you should already have a knowledge of General Products Safety Regulations (2005). Do be careful to follow age restriction guidelines. Failure to do so could lead to a ban on selling nicotine. We’d also advise a good knowledge of battery safety info.
We have put together a guide to compliance with age restrictions here, and an illustrated guide to battery safety here.
4. What is going to happen with imported liquids – can we still sell them?
It was our original understanding that E-Liquid now has to be made with EU or USA pharma grade nicotine. We haven’t seen any mention of that in UK government legislation, and are seeking clarification.
E-liquids will need to undergo testing, including emissions testing, with a submission being made 6 months before sale is allowed. This is likely to lead to a massive slow down in the rate of innovation.
As of March 2017 we are seeing a number of compliant e-liquids coming through from the USA. The TPD does mean there is likely to be continued consolidation in the e-liquid market, with larger, more established e-liquids becoming more dominant.
5. So, the new regulations stipulates 2ml Cartridge, does that then now include Refill/Rebuildable/Dripper Tanks?
Unfortunately so, at least in the UK. One government document originally appeared to suggest tanks would be excluded, however the restriction on tanks was clarified in the 2015 ECig Summit. However, we’re not sure to what extent it will affect parts for rebuildable clearomisers.
This isn’t universal. In France, the regulations have been interpreted as applying only to single use e-cigs and disposable cartridges.
6. As a retailer, do I need to carry out testing and submit notifications?
The onus for testing and submissions falls on the manufacturer and the importer. If you are importing the devices, you will need to conduct the tests and submit notifications – see here for details. Do note that submissions should be made 6 months before going to market. Given the costs of both testing and notification, this is not likely to be feasible for smaller retailers, especially those carrying a wide range of stock. If you are not importing or manufacturing, you will not have to conduct tests or notify products.
7. Will I now have pay a fee to sell e-cigs?
The MHRA charges manufacturers and importers fees to cover the costs of receiving and reviewing submissions.
The fees (per sku) are:
Notification Fee: £150
Annual Fee: £60
Substantial Modification Fee: £80
8. What is going to happen with batteries, box mods, variable voltage and wattage devices?
Batteries and mods will not be affected by the legislation. However, some will effectively become useless as appropriate tanks will not be available.
(We’ve tried sub-ohming with new, TPD compliant tanks. While the vape is excellent, it does entail frequent refilling!)
tags:Ecigs Retailers, ecigs