No two days are the same at the IBVTA, and that is how we like it. Last week was a typical example of this. Garry Dibley, our Membership and Advice Line Manager, was busy working away on behalf of IBVTA members, when the advice line telephone rang. It was one of our members, Debbie and Kam from Juice-e-Vaporium. They were clearly very distressed and worried as they had just been informed by FedEx that their shipment of e-liquid had been impounded and would either be destroyed or returned to the sender. Garry informed the member in question to get on with their work in their vape shop and leave it to the IBVTA to resolve.
According to FedEx they had impounded the products because they were not compliant with the TRPR. The product in question was zero milligram e-liquid in a refill container exceeding 10ml. As we made clear to FedEx, the TRPR only applies to nicotine containing e-liquids, therefore our members products were perfectly legal. Following detailed and lengthy discussions between the IBVTA, the FedEx Clearance Team and the IBVTA’s own Trading Standards Primary Authority we were able to have the product released.
Whilst we were delighted to have been able to help a member, such a situation should never have arisen in the first instance. Our member was put in a very difficult and stressful position as a direct result of FedEx UK misinterpreting the TRPR and wrongly trying to enforce the regulations.
Unfortunately, we have become aware that this was not an isolated incident. Consequently, we have raised our concerns with the Group Operations Director of FedEx UK. As a direct result of our engagement we were contacted by the person on the ground within FedEx, responsible for dealing with products coming into the UK. It was clear that there was a misunderstanding when it came to the regulations. We hope that this will now be resolved as we were able to put FedEx in contact with our Primary Authority who will be working with them to ensure that they have a complete understanding of the regulations. It was encouraging to hear that following our conversations, some other product, currently being held by FedEx, was released. Going forward, we hope that consumers and businesses will no longer have their product inappropriately impounded by FedEx.
Following last week’s incident, Debbie and Kam contacted us:
“When a courier company held a large consignment at customs we were beside ourselves. As a small company that have invested a lot of time and money in TRPR compliance the last thing we needed was a question mark over the legitimacy of our operation and loss of stock.
The piece of mind that comes with being an IBVTA member is immeasurable in situations like these. One phone call was all it took to put an end to the worry.
Immediately the IBVTA team were in contact with the shipping company, customs, and their own primary authority. In addition to this we had the knowledge that a legal team were on hand to take action if necessary.
Through being part of this organisation, we have always found comfort in the fact we can pick up the phone or email for a well-researched and concise answer to any query. In this instance, in particular, the resources available were invaluable.”