If complying with new vape-product regulations is not to become a competitive disadvantage in the UK, those regulations need to be enforced from day one, according to the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA).
The IBVTA said that from today only vape products (electronic cigarettes and e-liquids) that complied with all the requirements of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) could be manufactured or imported to the UK.
“Producers (i.e. anyone who imports, manufactures, or re-brands a product) cannot sell any remaining stocks of non-compliant products after 21st November 2016, unless those products have been notified by 21st November 2016,” it stated in a press note. “Retailers that do not engage in importation or manufacture may continue to sell non-compliant products up until the 19th May 2017 provided the product was sourced from a UK manufacturer and was in stock prior to the 21st November or has been notified as non-compliant by the producer.”
The IBVTA said that while its members had worked hard and spent a significant sum of money to meet this deadline, some companies had been entirely, and often willfully, ignorant of, and unprepared for, their responsibilities under the new regulations.
“IBVTA members have collectively spent millions of pounds to comply with these regulations, and to meet deadlines set back in 2014,” said Fraser Cropper, chairman of the IBVTA. “If these regulations are not enforced and policed from the 22nd November, this expenditure will in effect be money down the drain.
“That ‘doing the right thing’ could become a disincentive, as well as a competitive disadvantage, would be an outrageous affront to those that have willingly worked with regulators and made significant commercial investment to help make a difficult, ill-conceived, and counterproductive piece of legislation vaguely palatable.”
Meanwhile, Nigel Quine, deputy chairman of the IBVTA said the association applauded the constructive attitude taken by the Department of Health and the MHRA [the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] with regard to the implementation of the regulations.
“However, if the responsible industry is to retain confidence in the TRPR going forward, then deadlines need to be met and enforced, not just for the sake of the responsible industry, but also for consumer safety and confidence,” he said.