UKVIA issues guidance after stores found selling non-compliant vape products

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has issued compliance guidance for retailers who sell disposable vape products following its investigation that revealed the presence of non-compliant products in the market.

The industry body has earlier called on the regulators to take tough action and apply robust enforcement on resellers and retailers who were found to be flouting UK regulations for such products.

The UKVIA said its investigation has found mounting evidence of illicit and inappropriately branded disposable vape products hitting the UK market and non-compliant sales of such products, particularly in convenience stores and on major online marketplaces.

While the regulations restrict the amount of nicotine in such products to a maximum of 20mg/ml, evidence collected by the UKVIA reveals that some listed as this amount contain higher concentrations of nicotine and some products are being openly sold with 50mg/ml strength. Furthermore, product packaging is not including warnings about the nicotine content, which is a legal requirement.

The industry body alleged that some distributors are flouting the regulations and managing to get these products imported into the country and sell them onto traders and retailers. A lack of proper scrutiny on online marketplaces also contributes to the problem it added.

The association informed that it has been in active discussions with the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Trading Standards to address the problem.

“We are doing all we can as a trade association to ensure the industry’s reputation is not tarnished by a minority of resellers and retailers intent on making a quick buck out of a trending product. Whilst disposables have a major role to play in the vape market, like all products they need to adhere to the legislation,” John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, said.

“Our guidance is designed to ensure retailers keep on the right side of the law. We’re also working closely and are in discussions with leading disposable vape product manufacturers and the major online marketplaces to ensure they play a key role in taking a hard line against those behind the sale of non-compliant products in the country.”

The free guide, which has been produced in conjunction with leading vaping compliance specialists, Arcus Compliance, provides information on current UK regulations in relation to tank/reservoir capacity of devices, nicotine levels and the elements that must be contained on packaging. It also provides details in respect to registrations with and notifications from the MHRA.