There has been a lot of talk about the controversial TPD amendments to the e-cig and vaping industry, a lot of this has been misinformation and obscured with opinion instead of fact. Vapouriz CEO, Brett Horth sat down to discuss what TPD is and what it will mean to Vapouriz and its customers.
What is the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)?
TPD is an abbreviation for the Tobacco Products Directive. These regulations were first introduced by the European Commission in 2001 to improve the functioning of the European market for tobacco products, to improve product quality and public safety.
In 2014 the European Commission published a revision to the TPD with the objective to harmonise the regulations relating to tobacco and related products including e cigarettes across the European Union.
From 20 May 2016, ecigarettes and other nicotine vapour products will be regulated in Europe under Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).
It states that EU countries will have to comply with the new regulations including the supply of electronic cigarette and e-liquids. This includes imports into the EU.
The regulations specifically address ingredients, the levels of nicotine, volume of liquid, vapour emissions, product specification, packaging, labelling and marketing leading to improved product quality, public information and safety.
• All nicotine containing liquids, electronic cigarette kits and clearomizers must meet required standards and information submitted to the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency) as a notification (not authorisation).
• Testing includes ingredient analysis, nicotine dosage, vapour emissions and uptake studies on e-liquids.
• Refill containers (bottles) not to exceed 10ml
• Atomizers (tanks) not to exceed 2ml capacity
• Dripper bottles do not meet the described requirements and will be discontinued.
• Maximum nicotine content of 20mg/per ml (2.0%)
• Notification regime – 6 month wait for launching any new product
• Restrictions on marketing and advertising
The new regulations will be phased in from May 2016 with full compliance required by May 2017. We are required to notify all our products to the MHRA by November 2016.
Any products not notified or not compliant must be withdrawn from public sale by May 2017.
Your Questions Answered Will I be able to sell Vapouriz Electronic Cigarettes and E-liquid or do I need a special licence?
No, there will be no requirement for a special licence to sell Vapouriz Products.
Are your products going to be regulated as medicines, hindering my ability to sell them?
No, Vapouriz products are not required to be regulated in the same ways as medicines. The TPD regulations (article 20) as they apply to electronic cigarettes will be overseen by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency) with day to day management through Trading Standards.
Will I still be able to buy all of your current product range?
Yes and No. Due to the regulations and the effort to comply Vapouriz will review all current products and the consumer experience to decide what to notify to the MHRA in November 2016 and to continue selling beyond May 2017. These product range changes should be fairly minor and will not affect your ability to sell our products. We will inform you of any changes to the range before 20th May 2016 and any current noncompliant stock will have a 12 month sell through period ending on 19th May 2017.
What happens to my stock if it is not TPD Compliant?
There will be a 12 month grace period from 20th May 2016 for this transition to take place meaning you are able to continue selling noncompliant Vapouriz products up until 19th May 2017.
What extra responsibilities are you, Vapouriz, required to undertake to comply?
We’ll be taking on all the same responsibilities as before but we will have to submit more documentation regarding our testing and quality procedures to continue to sell our product range. Vapouriz have been preparing for these changes since notification of the new TPD guidelines were announced, and are already in the advanced stages of preparing for compliance, with some product testing already completed to the required standard.
Will your e-liquid be changing?
Our e-liquid will be of the same high quality as it is now, but we will no longer be able to sell them in bottles larger than 10ml, or in nicotine strengths greater than 2% (20mg/ml).
Glass dripper bottles do not meet the new requirements and will also be discontinued from the 19th May 2017.
We will have to test each of our E-liquids in a more time consuming and costly manner than previously, meaning we will reduce the amount of flavours and strength options we have available. However, we will still be manufacturing a substantial range of e-liquid flavours.
Our selected e-liquid flavours will have been identified as our customers’ favourites, using sales figures and surveys, so we are confident that all flavours we continue with will remain popular sellers.
Will your hardware be changing?
Some of our vaping kits comply with the TPD’s restrictions, some do not. All new vaping kits will come with clearomizers/atomizers that do not exceed 2ml. Any streamlining that occurs in 2016 is to avoid redundancy in our product range. Our customers can continue to sell our current product lines until 19th May 2017. Rest assured, Vapouriz will continue to have a wide range of new compliant hardware available for you and your customers.
Will there be restrictions on advertising your products?
The TPD Article 20 does state that there will be a ban on the ‘promotion’ of the electronic cigarettes via online, print, transmitted media (TV & Radio) and sponsorship. Price promotions (buy 1 get 1 free) and the advertising of them will also be prohibited by the new regulations. Providing factual product information is permitted. In store marketing is also permitted. The marketing and advertising restrictions are subject to Government / Industry consultation and we will keep you informed of developments.
Is the TPD Article 20 definitely going to happen?
Yes but to what extent we are unsure until it is finalised as there are still some ‘grey areas’ and consultations in progress. Vapouriz are working extremely hard to guarantee that when the TPD does come into full effect, our trade customers are not unduly affected. Vapouriz are committed to working with any potential changes to the industry and will provide ongoing support to our customers.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01483 779170 if you have any further questions