Totally Wicked, a leading U.K. e-cigarette manufacturer, has won the right to formally challenge the validity of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) at the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.
At a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, Justice Green decided that a preliminary ruling reference should be made to the CJEU, to determine whether Article 20 of the TPD breaches EU law. It is expected that a hearing will take place at the CJEU in 2015.
Totally Wicked becomes the first e-cigarette manufacturer to win the right to challenge a directive that will bring e-cigarettes and e-liquid within its regulatory scope as a tobacco-related product and subject e-cigarettes to more stringent regulation than some conventional tobacco products.
Totally Wicked believes that the TPD is likely to adversely impact the availability of good quality, e-cigarettes and e-liquids, and jeopardize their potential as a less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco.
Totally Wicked’s challenge is based on its view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provision of services, places e-cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of e-cigarette manufacturers.