The Ministerie van Landbouw (Ministry of Agriculture) has published details via the Dutch Food Safety Authority, the Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit (NVWA). The actions go beyond just banning shortfills and place huge costs on business facing a logistical nightmare.
What legislators have done with the new Tobacco Act will crush much of the domestic vape shop market as stores rely upon juice sales to make ends meet – there is not enough profit in hardware.
They have also failed to appreciate that they allowed the cross-border sale of vape products, and so shift sales to online to stores based in European countries that allow cross-border sales. Although they stipulate that European countries exporting to Holland need to have registered with the NVWA it is guaranteed that most won’t.
Following the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive, countries that still allow cross-border sales: Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia, Iceland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
The countries that have banned cross-border sales: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.
- All equipment and juices must include a mandatory package leaflet with information about potentially harmful effects and a number of warnings and no suggestions can be made that the product is less harmful than other products like cigarettes.
- New or modified products will be submitted for approval 6 months before the product comes onto the market.
- Manufacturers and juice makers must bear all the costs incurred in the approval process; including the receipt, storage, processing and analysis of the provided data and documents.
- Furthermore, manufacturers, importers and distributors of e-cigarettes and refill containers are obliged to set up and maintain a system for gathering information on all suspected adverse effects of these products on human health.
The advice the NVWA gives businesses is in the form of questions and answers contained in a PDF on the website. The regulations come into effect on 1st July 2018.
Is a dripper allowed?
The NVWA throws its hands up, because it has no idea how to legislate against them.
How do you state the warning phrase on blister packs?
A warning must be placed on it that covers 30% of the total surface of the blister pack.
What rules apply to mentioning flavours and foodstuffs on the packaging unit and any outer packaging of an e-cigarette or refill pack?
On a packaging unit and any outer packaging, it is allowed to state in words what taste is involved, but no images of foods related to that taste may be displayed – no pictures of oranges or a glass of orange juice.
Is it permitted to place liquids in the refill containers larger than 10 ml for the refilling of an electronic cigarette?
No, that is not allowed. Liquid intended for refilling electronic cigarettes may be placed on the market only in refillable containers of not more than 10 ml. This also applies to (nicotine-containing) liquids that are offered in the context of "Do It Yourself" (DIY) e-liquids. These liquids are actually offered for the refilling of electronic cigarettes.
This also applies to bottles of raw PG and VG according to the NVWA, and vendors are also banned from selling larger tanks to add on to atomisers.
POTV spoke to Jeroen Geurtsen, the owner of an eliquid company based in Tiel. He told us: “With tax revenue coming down, they had to create something so they can tax all vape consumption.”
“We are active in both Belgium and the Netherlands and, sure, this is going to impact us as the Netherlands is basically lost for the foreseeable future, after 1/7/2019 and even before that as stock produced before 1/7/2018 will run out.”
“Cross border sales are permitted, but you have to be registered and obey the laws of the land. This is what we already do as we don’t sell nic into Belgium as online sales of hardware and nic is not permitted over there.”
“What will happen is that vapers will stock up, buy abroad and, after that, the industry will go underground as 10ml, especially if they are taxed, are way too expensive. Consumers will not go backwards and flavours and base can be bought everywhere as long as the word ‘VAPE’ in not to be seen within a mile.”
“I don’t know how they will enforce the cross-border problem, as the NVWA-agency will probably order stuff themselves and if send can prosecute that website, until now that hasn’t happen yet as most of our competitors are still selling nic into Belgium.”
It heralds the death of squonkers too, due to the capacity of the squeeze bottles. Or, as Jeroen says: “So that’s it for Holland: no World Cup and no shortfills.”