Imagine walking into your local vape shop and they only had your favourite e-liquid available in 10ml bottles? Sadly for many of us, the TPD regulations came into effect last Saturday after a 12 month grace period. Manufacturers, distributors, vape shops and vapers themselves, must all comply with Article 20 of the TPD (Tobacco Product Directive). A transitional clause was permitted towards non-compliant products manufactured or marketed before 20th November 2016. However, the deadline (20th May 2017) has now passed and changes are underway.
The TPD is affecting all European countries and three non-EU countries: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The TPD updated the combustible tobacco regulations and included electronic cigarettes under the same umbrella for the first time in history.
Why is the TPD so confusing?
Most people are struggling to understand what the TPD regulations are in each country. The TPD is overcomplicated, unclear and confusing. It is a directive, so each European country can implement their own rules mirroring the TPD regulations. For this reason, there is not one simple rulebook for Europe. Every country can interpret the same regulations differently. In general, this is what the TPD involves as a whole for most European countries.
The TPD does NOT…
- Effect e-cigs licensed as medical products
- Require new products to be approved before they go on sale
- Impose any taxes on electronic cigarettes
What the TPD DOES MEAN…
- E-liquid nicotine concentration is limited to 20mg/ml (2%)
- Tanks cannot contain more than 2ml of e-juice (this rule does not apply to RTA/RDTA in most countries)
- E-liquid bottles with nicotine cannot contain more than 10ml
- Products must be protected against leakages
- Products must be child-proof and tamper-proof
- Information and health warnings on all products
- TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and internet advertising are banned
- EU member states can ban long distance sales, causing the most controversy as many vapers purchase their products online.
Who is responsible for notifying products?
If established in the European Union, manufacturers have the responsibility of notifying new products. If the manufacturer is not established in the EU, then the importer has to notify. An importer is “the owner or person that has the right of disposal for tobacco or related products that have been brought into the EU.”
Heaven Gifts – as the largest B2B vape business worldwide – has a strong commitment to all European clients. During the last year, we have helped many vape brands notify new products. This has ensured a hassle-free shopping experience for their vape business. Click here for more info about our wholesale program.
Are all EU countries TPD ready?
Croatia, Spain, Luxembourg and Sweden have not yet transposed the TPD regulations. Nonetheless, they are expected to do their “homework” by summer 2017.
Some positives of the TPD regulations!
The TPD was not well-received amongst the vape community. The regulations make no sense, are extremely strict and have even been deemed slightly unfair. However, there are some positives. One benefit everyone has noticed is the tightened quality control on all new devices and e-juices. Devices and liquids must now be tested in a lab and notified to the EU.
This will prevent irresponsible vendors from selling cheap, unregulated or potentially harmful e-juice or vape gear to customers. Cyan, a vape shop owner/e-liquid manufacturer from Ireland, sees the TPD regulations as a new opportunity in the USA. “Fortunately for us but unfortunately for the Americans, the FDA regulations are so expensive to comply with. The next best market for them is Europe so we have set up a full service for them.”
Most professionals in Europe feel that, although there are problems it could have been much worse. The TPD regulations are creating new expectations and opportunities. Many American manufacturers – as Cyan pointed out – see Europe as the new market to produce their e-liquids in. This avoids the extremely expensive product registrations fees, regulations ruled by the American Food and Drugs Federation (FDA).
Ryan is a vaper, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.