The Tobacco Products Directive, which comes into force tomorrow, will have a significant impact on the independent vape industry and vapers across the UK.
This directive will restrict innovation and reduce product range; it will make it harder for smokers to switch to vaping and send some vapers back to smoking; some businesses will be forced to close; and it will lead to a rise in the informal economy.
Critically, the TPD will not even result in a harmonised approach to regulation in this sector across the EU as proponents of the TPD said it would, as it has enshrined in law 28 different regulatory regimes across the EU. Currently few national bodies have confirmed the extent and detail of their respective national transpositions. This means immediately that UK companies cannot comply with TPD requirements for national reporting as these regimes do not exist, thus preventing legitimate cross border sales, for those countries that will continue to allow such trade. This free trade embargo is further enforced with needless bureaucratic national reporting fees, charged by every EU nation for the same products set.
IBVTA therefore supports all attempts to deliver a proportionate regulatory regime that recognises the products our members manufacture, import or sell as a sector in their own right and not something associated with either the tobacco or pharmaceutical industries.
Within this context IBVTA supports a motion tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Callanan. We hope that if successful this motion will deliver a proportionate regulatory regime for vape products in the UK by removing them from the TPD and having them regulated in a proportionate manner within their own bespoke regulation.
IBVTA would urge all IBVTA members to respectfully contact their local MPs asking them to support Lord Callanan’s motion in any way they can. We would also ask members, where possible, to make contact with members of the House of Lords again, asking them to support this motion.
It is important to note that this motion has nothing to do with the EU referendum. It is about achieving a proportionate regulatory regime for our sector.