Code of Conduct
- Never knowingly sell vape products to anyone under the age of 18 or anyone purchasing on their behalf.
- Ensure safeguards are in place to prevent anyone under the age of 18 purchasing vape products online.
- Never knowingly market to anyone who is not a current or former smoker, or a current vaper
- Unless selling a medicinally authorised vape product, avoid claiming any health benefits from the use of vape products.
- Ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to abide by the laws and regulations governing the manufacture, import, distribution, and sale of vape products.
- Take a positive and responsible attitude towards product stewardship.
- Never knowingly sell counterfeit products.
- Respect Intellectual Property and legal commercial agreements, including Trade Marks, Patents, Licences, Goodwill, and Distribution Agreements.
- Never knowingly sell a product known to be detrimental to vapers’ short term or long term health.
- Keep records of adverse effects and incidents involving any products you have manufactured, imported, or sold and where necessary notify the relevant authorities.
- Never knowingly engage in activities likely to bring the independent vape sector into disrepute.
- Where required, register and accurately discharge VAT responsibilities.
- Hold valid and appropriate product, and wider as necessary, personal and product liability insurance.
- Never knowingly misrepresent products’ safety or performance criteria.
- Provide suitable warranties and guarantees consistent with prevailing consumer and sector related legislation and when defined, IBVTA best practice.
- Terms and Conditions
Date these terms and conditions were updated: 6 Dec 2017
These terms and conditions govern the relationship between the Independent British Vape Trade Association (“IBVTA”, “we”, “us”, “our”) and you as a Full member of IBVTA (“you”, “your”) and form a legally binding contract. Under this contract, in return for your subscription we will provide you with a number of benefits, including access to and discounts on our services and those we offer with any future partner organisations.
Please read these terms and conditions carefully (including the below documents) before you subscribe for membership. If you do not agree to abide by all these terms and conditions, you may not become a member of IBVTA:
Collectively, these documents are the whole contract between you and us.
The IBVTA is a non-political, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (registered in England and Wales – 10033135). The registered office for IBVTA is Audley House, 13 Palace Street, SW1E 5HX
IBVTA is the trade organisation for all responsible and ethical independent vape businesses in the UK. Through the provision of credible knowledge and guidance, IBVTA supports the independent vape trade and promotes constructive interaction between this industry sector and the scientific community, vapers, policy makers, and the general public. IBVTA fosters research and manufacturing excellence in order to deliver a proportionate consumer regulatory landscape that adequately reflects the needs of vaping stakeholders and recognises vaping as a sector in its own right.
Please note that all written and oral advice provided in our publications and through our services (including via the telephone advice line) is aimed at those running independent vape businesses, not necessarily individual vapers, and is given in good faith. We cannot be held responsible or liable for any loss you may suffer which arises from your reliance on such advice where you are relying on it in a capacity other than an owner of an independent vape business.
These terms and conditions set out the conditions of your membership of IBVTA as a full member.
This membership is for independent vape businesses only (vendors, distributors, importers, manufacturers). The rights and obligations you have under these terms and conditions are linked to the member business and not transferrable to any other business you may own. They will cease on your ceasing to be a member, for whatever reason.
As a member of IBVTA you are agreeing:
- To comply with these terms and conditions at all times, and
- To abide by IBVTA’s code of conduct at all times.
As a full member you will receive access to the benefits as set out on IBVTA’s website. These benefits may change during the course of your membership.
As a full member, you are also entitled to:
- Receive notice of, and attend, our AGM (and any other members’ meetings), and
- Speak and vote on resolutions at members’ meetings.
- You agree not to publish reports of any members’ meeting without the prior written permission of the IBVTA board.
As a member of IBVTA you are also committing to contribute a maximum of £1 to the assets of IBVTA should the company be wound up as insolvent. You are also agreeing to comply with the provisions of our Articles of Association, which form a contract between IBVTA and its members. You can request a copy of the Articles at email@example.com.
Becoming a member
All applications for membership must be made through our website or by completing an initial application form at an industry event.
Applications made are automatically directed to our membership department who will endeavour to process the application within five working days.
The following checks are undertaken on all applicants:
- The company is registered with Companies House or is a registered sole trader.
- The company is VAT registered. Only new companies whose income falls below the required threshold would be able to join without being VAT registered.
- Verified that they have no undischarged bankruptcies or relevant and outstanding County Court Judgements.
- Passed credit checks, public record and director checks.
- The company is independent of any control or ownership from either the tobacco or pharmaceutical industries.
- The company is willing to be bound by the rules of the IBVTA Code of Practice.
Membership fees are set out on the IBVTA website and are paid on a monthly basis by direct debit.
Renewals of membership are covered below.
The Board reserves the right to propose an increase or reduction in the membership fees, however any increase or decrease would need to be approved by a vote of the membership at an AGM or EGM. Any changes in membership fee would only apply at the time of a membership renewal and would be set out in the renewal letter.
Renewals and Cancellations
Membership of the IBVTA is based on a rolling agreement which will automatically renew for another period of one year upon the anniversary of a member’s application, subject to payment of the subscription for the renewal period in accordance with these terms and conditions.
Initial membership of the IBVTA is for a fixed-term period of 12 months. New members will be invoiced for the total sum of 12 months membership at the point their membership goes live. This invoice will be broken down into 12 individual monthly payments which will be taken from the member’s nominated bank account on a monthly basis.
Members will receive documentation three months prior to the renewal date of their membership, informing them of their entitlement to cancel and of any changes to their Direct Debit payment (if applicable). Any payment arrangements that have been made by Direct Debit will automatically continue, unless the member notifies their bank/building society of the wish to cancel it.
If a member wishes to cancel their membership, they must inform us of their intention to cancel at least 10 working days prior to the anniversary of their application or their membership will be automatically renewed on expiry of the current contract period. This notice should be provided directly to us, in writing by letter or email.
Members choosing to renew for an additional fixed-term period of 12 months, will be issued with a new invoice for the total sum of 12 months membership at the point their renewed membership goes live. This invoice will be broken down into 12 individual monthly payments which will be taken from the member’s nominated bank account on a fixed date each month. These terms will apply to all subsequent renewals of membership.
Your membership will lapse within seven days of the date that renewal falls due if we have not received payment for the renewed period.
Suspension or termination of membership
We may, in our discretion, suspend or terminate your membership and take such other action as we deem appropriate if:
- A company’s membership terminates when that company ceases to exist or they are in breach of the IBVTA’s strict declaration of independence and/or code of conduct.
- If you are in breach of these terms and conditions.
- If a complaint is made against you (we have the right, should it be necessary, to suspend your membership at this point while we conduct an investigation into the complaint) and the IBVTA Board decide that you should be expelled following its investigation into the complaint.
- If you behave abusively towards IBVTA personnel, whether in person or through correspondence.
- We may, at our absolute discretion, re-admit a company who has ceased to be a member by reason of the above provisions. In the case of suspension pending our investigation, your benefits and membership will be reinstated if the investigation clears you of the allegations made.
We may disclose such information to law enforcement authorities as we reasonably feel is necessary and reserve the right to publish the names of members whose membership has been terminated for any of the above reasons.
On suspension or termination of your membership, all your membership benefits shall cease, including your access to the membership area of the website and advice line.
The responses described above are not limited, and we may take any other action we reasonably deem appropriate. Such action may include taking legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs on an indemnity basis (including, but not limited to, reasonable administrative and legal costs on a solicitor and client basis) resulting from your breach.
We exclude liability for actions taken in response to breaches of these terms and conditions.
Use of IBVTA name and logo
You are entitled, as a full member, to use ‘Independent British Vape Trade Association’ and the initials IBVTA (together, ‘the IBVTA Name’) and the IBVTA Member Logo to tell others that you are a member of the IBVTA.
You may only use the IBVTA Name, and the IBVTA Member Logo, in accordance with these terms and conditions. In particular, you shall not make any representation (via use of the IBVTA Name or the IBVTA Member Logo or otherwise) that you have any relationship with the IBVTA other than that you are a member of it.
You may use the IBVTA Name, and the IBVTA Member Logo, solely in connection with your independent vape business and not in relation to any other business interest or activity.
You must not amend or manipulate the IBVTA Member Logo in any way other than those set out in the instructions for usage accompanying the logo.
You shall not incorporate any IBVTA Name or IBVTA Member Logo in your business or trading name(s) or any other name or trade mark used in conjunction with your business.
You recognise that the IBVTA owns the IBVTA Name and the IBVTA Member Logo including any goodwill and other rights associated with them. You may not permit or sublicense anyone else to use the IBVTA Name or the IBVTA Member Logo.
You must not do anything, or fail to do anything, which risks bringing the IBVTA into disrepute. This includes, but is not limited to, acts committed or omissions made whilst using the IBVTA Name and the IBVTA Member Logo.
If you become aware of anyone making unauthorised use the IBVTA Name or the IBVTA Member Logo or otherwise passing themselves off as either the IBVTA or a member of it, you shall immediately notify the IBVTA and provide it with full details. You acknowledge that the IBVTA has the sole right to take action against any infringement, and that any damages recovered shall belong to the IBVTA.
If your membership ceases or is suspended, you must immediately cease use of the IBVTA Name, the IBVTA Member Logo, and any similar marks or elements, and must not represent in any way that you are [or were] a member of the IBVTA.
Data Protection and use of Personal Data
You warrant that all information provided by you (as part of the membership registration process or otherwise) is correct, accurate and not misleading.
Limitation of our liability
Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of our newsletters and any other journals or publications; however, neither we nor the authors can accept liability for errors and omissions within them.
In circumstances where you suffer loss or damage arising out of or in connection with any membership benefit or the provision of any products or services offered by us or third party organisations through our website or otherwise (whether by virtue of being a member or not), to the extent permitted by law, we, other members of our group of companies and third parties connected to us accept no liability for this loss or damage and hereby expressly exclude:
All conditions, warranties and other terms which might otherwise be implied by statute, common law or the law of equity.
Any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage incurred by any person in connection with any membership benefit or products and services offered including, without limitation any liability for:
Loss of income or revenue,
Loss of business,
Loss of profits or contracts,
Loss of anticipated savings,
Loss of data,
Loss of goodwill,
Wasted management or office time, and
Any other loss or damage of any kind, however arising and whether caused by tort (including negligence), breach of contract or otherwise, even if foreseeable.
This does not affect our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence, nor our liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or misrepresentation as to a fundamental matter, nor any other liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.
Notwithstanding the above, if we are liable to you for any reason, our liability will be limited to the greater of £50 and the amount of your membership subscription for the year in which we incurred the liability. This limit does not apply to any liability we may have for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or from our fraudulent misrepresentation as to a fundamental matter.
These terms and conditions do not and shall not affect your statutory rights as a consumer.
These terms and conditions override any other contrary terms or conditions in relation to any membership subscription between you and us.
We reserve the right to change the benefits that apply to your membership or these terms and conditions at any time on 14 clear days’ notice to you.
If you do not accept the proposed variation, you may terminate your membership within that notice period without penalty by letting us know by post, telephone or email. If you serve us notice terminating your membership with the required period, we will refund you in respect of the unspent part of your subscription, which we will pay you within 30 days.
Otherwise, if you do not serve us with the required notice within that period, the varied benefits and/or terms and conditions will become binding on you on expiry of the 14-day period.
A person who is not party to these terms and conditions shall not have any rights under or in connection with them under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, except that any person who suffers loss as a result of or arising from any posting or other contribution you make on our website shall be entitled to enforce these terms and conditions against you directly.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
These terms and conditions are governed by English law. You hereby irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts notwithstanding the jurisdiction where you are based.
Neither party shall be liable to the other for any delay or non-performance of its obligations by reason of matters beyond its control including, but not limited to, any act of terrorism, war, riot, civil commotion, compliance with any law or government order, fire, flood or storm, strikes, or any other industrial dispute, delay in transit, power failure, postal delay, or any event that cannot be reasonably be planned for or avoided.
Queries and Complaints
If you have any queries or comments about your membership, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We take complaints about our services very seriously. If you are not satisfied with any part of the services we have provided you as part of your membership, please contact us so you can get in touch with us and we can investigate the complaint for you.
With a view to making sure standards are kept as high as possible, we reserve the right to publish on our website details of complaints received and investigated, including your name, whether or not the investigation leads or has led to termination of your membership.
Primary Business Status Definitions
Vendor / Distributor
A vendor is any business or sole trader engaged in the sale of vaping devices, e-liquid and accessories. This can be through dedicated premises, concession stand, or through e-commerce. Dependent on additional activities a vendor might also be considered a producer, which entails additional obligations under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (2016), and General Product Safety Regulations (2005). Under General Product Safety Regulations, a vendor is referred to as a distributor, and is defined as a professional in the supply chain whose activities do not affect the safety of the product. A vendor/distributor cannot manufacture or import products without taking the responsibilities of the producer.
A distributor’s responsibilities under General Product Safety Regulations are that they should act with due care and must not supply products which as a professional he knows or should have presumed to be dangerous. They should maintain records, as far as possible, to enable unsafe products to be traced back to their origins. This is only applicable within the limits of his activity. The requirement could be viewed as an obligation for a distributor to maintain the chain that enables tracing of products.
It should be noted that enforcement action by an enforcement authority concerning the maintenance of records would only be contemplated if there is a safety issue with the product.
Under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations no additional constraints are placed on vendors/distributors beyond the restrictions of selling compliant product that has been duly notified by the producer.
Importer / Producer
A producer, whether a business or a sole trader, takes additional responsibilities under both General Product Safety Regulations and Tobacco and Related Products Regulations. A producer is defined as:
The manufacturer of a product who is established in the EU;
A person established in the EU, holding himself out as the manufacturer, for example by selling private label products under his own brand (“own-branders”);
A person established in the EU who reconditions the product;
A person established in the EU who represents a manufacturer from outside the EU;
Where there is no EU representative of the manufacturer, the importer into the EU;
Other professionals in the supply chain who affect the safety of the product.
Under General Product Safety Regulations, the producer is specifically required to:
Provide information to enable consumers to assess the risks inherent with the product (if they are not immediately obvious) and provide information on precautions to avoid them.
Adopt measures to enable him to be informed of the risks (e.g. recording safety related returns) and where necessary, enable him to withdraw unsafe products from the distribution chain.
Such measures may include:
Provision of appropriate marking of product with the name and address of the producer, serial and model numbers
Sample testing of products on the market
Investigation and recording of complaints
Keeping distributors informed of monitoring work and the results
Under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations there is an obligation for all producers to ensure that products are both compliant with the laws laid down in the regulations, and that certain products are declared and/or tested and duly notified to MHRA through a specified IT system.