FlavourArt UK (FAUK) are a distributor of liquids, concentrates and mixing supplies. The owner, John Chamley, has sought guidance from The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). John writes that his reply from the MHRA reads as follows:
“Thank you for responses so far to our consultation exercise on the proposed fees for notification of e-cigarettes. We have had a number of requests for clarification, most of which fall into the following three broad themes below.
We have provided clarification on these issues, which we hope you will find helpful. Please also remember that the consultation exercise closes on Friday 29 January.
1. Who needs to submit a notification? The requirement to notify e-cigarettes and refill containers applies to ‘producers’. A producer is anyone who manufactures or imports or re-brands any of the products covered by the regulations. We are looking to implement the TPD is a pragmatic way so that importers do not need to submit a duplicate notification if the manufacturer or re-brander has already submitted a notification.
2. What about flavour and strength variants? We expect that each individual product will require a separate notification. This would include each flavour and strength variant.
3. Do retailers need to submit notifications? Retailers do not need to submit notifications unless they also qualify as a ‘producer’, for example by mixing their own e-liquids (refill containers).”
In a related matter, Phillip Morris International, Japan Tobacco International and British American Tobacco have made a request (or demand depending on who you believe) that the process is shifted back by six months.
They collectively claim that the TPD places the need for large-scale investment on companies in order to conform to its terms and this isn’t possible in the space of time being given. The call for an extension is, they say, required to upgrade machinery, equipment and materials.
In typical Big Tobacco fashion, they wield the double-edged sword. On one hand they warn that Europe will suffer a loss in tax revenue if they don’t comply (through them being unable to supply and the black market filling the void) and an implication that they can always open up another costly legal action. They lose no opportunity to point out the value of tobacco revue to the European exchequer and highlighted that only oil revues contribute more to the coffers.