If you’re one of the few that hasn’t heard about the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive), then this blog post from EL-Science is perfect for you. The TPD came into force on Friday 20th May 2016 with a mission to regulate the e-cigarette and e-liquid industry.
The TPD has been the topic of discussion amongst almost every single vaper, retailer and manufacturer in the UK, with many disagreeing and starting petitions to try and get the Act changed. However, it is here and it is here to stay. If you own your own vaping/e-cig shop, then there are a few things you need to do in order to comply with the TPD. If this blog post doesn’t answer your question, here at EL-Science we offer a 100% free no obligation TPD call where we’ll spend however long you need running you through every element of the TPD to ensure you’re complying. We’ll talk you through how we can assist you if you need us.
Selling & manufacturing e-liquids under the TPD
First of all, all e-liquids must be tested and meet the minimum standards set by the TPD. If you’re a retailer simply selling branded e-liquids, the responsibility is on the manufacturer to ensure their product meets the TPD requirements. There are several tests e-liquids have to undergo and pass, and the manufacturer should be able to provide test certifications for each of their product SKU’s.
If you make your own e-liquids (manufacture) to sell on, all the e-liquids you make need to be tested by a TPD authorised laboratory. If you have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all ingredients, this doesn’t make you TPD compliant. The moment these chemicals are mixed, the safety certifications are worthless. Please do not get caught out between a certification from a supplier of PG, VG or Nicotine, these do not make you TPD compliant.
Bottle sizes & Nicotine strengths under the TPD
The TPD introduction also sees the end of larger e-liquid bottles. It’s now only legal to sell 10ml bottles with a maximum of 20 mg/mL Nicotine. Saying that, all 0mg versions of e-liquids are exempt from the TPD, meaning you can sell a 100ml bottle of e-liquid providing it has 0mg of nicotine. It’s not just the e-liquid itself which has to be TPD compliant, the bottle and branding also has to be compliant. All bottles must feature the correct information, including a child safety lid, and a tactile hazard sign. If you’re concerned about your label’s appearance, why not use EL-Science’s e-liquid graphic design & branding team? They’ll assist you with getting the perfect design, catching the eye of potential customers, as opposed to the local authorities.
Does the TPD mean I have to bin old stock?
Don’t start panicking and binning your old unsold none TPD compliant e-liquids. The TPD recognises that this will leave many businesses with worthless and illegal stock overnight, causing huge issues for businesses. From the 20th May 2016 – 19th November 2016, there will be no immediate change. From the 20th November 2016 – 19th May 2017, you may continue to sell products you already have in stock during this period, however when obtaining new stock, it’s wise to ask if it’s TPD certified. If not, you only have until the 20th May 2017. On this date, you will need to remove from sale any remaining stock of products that do not comply with the TPD.
Local trading standards officers will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the law.
A person who produces or supplies a tobacco product in breach of the Regulations is guilty of an offence.
- If found guilty by a Magistrates Court a person could face a prison sentence of up to three months, or a fine or both.
- If found guilty by a Crown Court a person could face a prison sentence of up to two years, or a fine or both.
If you manufacture your own e-liquids for the purpose of retail, your e-liquids must meet certain criteria, before being submitted to the relevant authorities. Please do get in touch with us at EL-Science as we’re happy to work with you in getting your e-liquid compliant.
Advertising E-cigarettes and E-liquids under the TPD
Immediately on the 20th May 2016, advertising of e-cigs and e-liquids is severely restricted.
There can be no advertising or promotion, directly or indirectly:
- on TV or on-demand TV
- on radio
- through information society services (this includes for example internet advertising and commercial e-mail)
- in certain printed publications – newspapers, magazines, periodicals and similar publications
However, advertising e-cigarettes in media such as billboards and posters in shops is outside of the scope of the TPD so will not be affected.
You can continue to use social media for engagement, customer service and posting relevant news regarding your business and the industry. We’re looking into the advertising legislation on a daily basis, and we aim to provide you much more information as we receive it. Please do check back.
What do I do next?
We hope this blog post has helped you understand a few key elements of the TPD, and will assist you in running your e-cig and e-liquid business. There’s a lot more to the TPD, and it’s worth contacting our dedicated TPD specialists, if you have any questions or need anything clarifying.