Kent County Council Trading Standards swooped as part of Operation CeCe, a team up between National Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs.
UKVIA said: “Boxes of suspected counterfeit e-cigarettes were seized from a concealed storage space above a ceiling at a Maidstone business. Congratulations to Kent County Council on their successful operation to take illicit e-cigarettes off the streets.”
Kent’s action saw seizures of illegal tobacco, illegal disposable vapes and other vaping products, and illicit whisky.
Police Constable Jared Dungate commented: “The supply and sale of illicit cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol is often connected to organised crime groups and has a detrimental effect on law-abiding retailers who pay the relevant duties and taxes. We will continue to make regular visits to premises with our partners who will apply for closure orders where businesses persistently fail to comply with the law.”
Trading Standards Officer Oliver Jewell added: “The e-cigarette devices seized were up to six times over the legal limit. E-cigarettes that don’t meet UK requirements will not have undergone any of the necessary checks and as a result carry a risk of containing potentially harmful banned ingredients.”
UKVIA’s guidance document states: “All nicotine containing disposable devices must follow all of the current TPD/TRPR regulations.”
The trade body reminds vendors that disposable products must conform with the following:
- Have a tank/reservoir capacity of no more than 2ml
- Have a nicotine level no higher than 20mg/ml (2%)
- They must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and appear on the MHRA’s website as approved
UKVIA also answers some common questions, such as:
How can I check if the product is approved with the MHRA?
You can check the status of the ECID number or product name here. This is the new system and list all products published post 31 Dec 2020. You just need to type the name in the brand or sub-brand box and it should come up automatically.
Then check the legacy lists. Our advice is to check both lists (A-I and J-Z) and use the find function of excel (ctrl F). If you know the ECID use this.
Important note *Being on the list does not necessarily mean that the product is listed correctly. For example with disposable vape products they must be listed as “ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE – DISPOSABLE” it is not acceptable to be listed as a refill container.*
I have seen devices on the market that claim to have 1,500+ puffs, are they legal?
No, as a simple rule of thumb devices over 500/600 puffs will contain a liquid capacity greater than the 2ml maximum.
What happens if I am caught selling illegal disposables?
Companies caught selling products that are non-compliant can face prosecution, risk having their stock seized and receive fines of up to £5,000 per instance.
- The UKVIA guide to compliant retailing of disposable vape products in the UK - http://ow.ly/uloj50HzG97