The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) and Kent County Council Trading Standards Business Advice Services are delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has granted approval for their Primary Authority (PA) relationship.
This is a legally binding relationship between the IBVTA and Kent County Council Trading Standards Business Advice Services (the PA). The PA will provide IBVTA and its members with robust reliable regulatory advice which other local authorities take into account in their dealings with the IBVTA and its members. In this way, PA promotes consistency and fairness in the way that local councils enforce regulations.
Additionally, under the Co-ordinated Primary Authority Partnership IBVTA members would have access to relevant and authoritative tailored advice, gain recognition of robust compliant arrangements, be able to draw on an established and effective means of meeting business regulation and be more confident they are protecting themselves and their customers.
Advice would be provided to the IBVTA as the Co-ordinator and this would be disseminated for all members of the IBVTA to follow. If IBVTA members are following assured advice, regulators would have to have a mind to this. Where issues were found these would be directed to the Kent County Council PA Officer to deal with leaving IBVTA members to continue to concentrate on their businesses.
Fraser Cropper, Chairman of the IBVTA said:
“I am delighted that the IBVTA has been able to build a credible working relationship with Kent Trading Standards which has culminated in us entering into a formal Primary Authority Partnership.
Whether they have agreed with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations or not, IBVTA members have worked hard over the last two years to ensure that their businesses comply. It must be noted that some companies have been entirely (and often wilfully) ignorant and unprepared for their responsibilities under the new regulations.
If “doing the right thing” is not to become a disincentive, as well as a competitive disadvantage, it is vital that these new regulations are policed and enforced. A failure to do so will mean that those companies that have not done the “right thing” will be allowed to continue selling (and in many cases continuing to manufacture and import) products that are not compliant with TRPR, yet will have borne none of the significant overheads that the responsible elements of the industry have accepted.
IBVTA members have worked constructively with regulators to help make a difficult, ill-conceived, and counterproductive piece of EU legislation vaguely palatable and we applaud the constructive attitude taken by the Department of Health and the MHRA. As part of our new relationship with Kent Trading Standards, we look forward to working with them on all aspects of compliancy.”
Wendy May, Primary Authority Officer at Kent Trading Standards said:
“I am very pleased that Kent Trading Standards has a Primary Authority Partnership with the IBVTA. The vaping industry is a relatively new sector and is growing significantly. Assisting the IBVTA and their members with compliance will create a fair and level playing field for businesses and I am looking forward to working with them.”