What is the Tobacco Product Directive (TPD)?
The Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) is an EU directive designed to regulate the Tobacco industry. From May 2016 it introduced new rules to cover the e-cigarette and vaping industry. Article 20 of the directive specifically deals with rules around nicotine containing electronic cigarettes and refill containers (e.g. e-liquids)
The aim of the TPD with regards to vaping and e-cigarettes was to:
- Introduce minimum safety standards
- Ensure that adequate information is provided to consumers to enable them to make an informed choice about vaping and related products
- Make sure adequate provisions are in place to prevent misuse of e-cigarettes by children
In the UK the TPD is implemented by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulation 2016.
What does the TPD mean for vape shop owners?
Under the TPD, producers of e-cigarettes and refill containers are required to adhere to the regulations and submit all of their products to the MHRA before placing them on the UK market.
A producer is defined as ‘anyone who manufactures or imports these products or who re-brands any product as their own.’
Under the TPD, retailers are not required to submit information relating to products they sell unless they also qualify as a producer.
But this doesn’t mean there are no repercussions of the TPD on vape shop owners. It is still vital that you ensure that any products that you sell are compliant with the TPD.
How can vape shop owners ensure their stock is TPD compliant?
As well as requiring producers to submit all products to the MHRA before placing on the UK market, amongst others, the regulation also sets out requirements relating to:
- E-cigarette tank capacity
- The volume of nicotine containing e-liquid sold in one refill container
- Nicotine strengths
- Child proof/tamper evident packaging and products
- Labelling and warning requirements
- A ban on certain ingredients
It is important that as a vape shop owner and retailer that you ensure your stock is compliant with all of the relevant regulation. Refer here for full details of the requirements.
The gov.uk website provides a list of all e-cigarette and refill container products which have been submitted to the MHRA. It is also here that they recommend retailers visit to ensure that the products they are planning to sell have been through this process.
You can also refer to this advice for retailers document published on the gov.uk site for more information on ensuring that products are TPD compliant.
How can vape shop owners ensure their manufacturers are regulated?
Under the TPD producers of e-cigarettes and e-liquids do not need to be regulated. But they must follow the rules set out by the TPD when it comes to the products they produce. As a vape shop owner, the best way to check this is to refer to the list of submitted products to ensure that the product a manufacturer is trying to sell you has been submitted to the MHRA.
The gov.uk website advises that if you cannot find the product on the list then you ask your producer if they have submitted it and whether it complies with the TPD.
Remember, a producer should not sell you a product if it does not comply with the TPD or if it hasn’t been submitted to the MHRA.
At Anthony Jones we are specialists in vape insurance and understand that the risks you face are very different to those of other retailers. We can work closely with you to understand the unique risks you may face and to ensure that you have adequate insurance in place to guard against these. Get in touch with us on 0208 290 9080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org