With each day that passes, it is anyone’s guess what the result of Brexit will be, and what the knock on effects may be to the vape industry.
In December, news came from Westminster that the UK government was not ruling out revising vape regulations post-Brexit. Up until this point, it had been thought that no changes would be implemented and all would run as it has been since the implementation of the TPD.
However, in response to the Science and Technology Committee’s evidence review report published last August, the Department of Health and Social Care said before Christmas it would look at the options Brexit could present for the Great British vape industry, one of the leading vape industries worldwide.
“The government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re‑appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. The government will explore those areas identified by the committee, such as the 20mg/ml maximum nicotine refill limit, a size restriction of 2ml on the tank, a block on advertising e-cigarettes’ relative harm-reduction potential and the notification scheme for e-cigarette ingredients.”
Merely a week into 2019, MPs debated and then agreed a list which will ensure that if no deal is reached by the exit deadline, two pieces of EU tobacco legislation will be signed into UK law.
This allows for the provision of the Tobacco Products Directive and the Tobacco Advertising Directive to remain in place following a bad break-up.
There are three main changes which will affect the regulation of the vape industry in the event of a no deal Brexit, as decided by MPs this week.
- The Australian Government will provide the graphic imagery used in warnings contained on tobacco product packaging. A deal between both governments has arranged for this to be done free of charge.
- The UK will need to develop its own domestic notification systems for companies that wish to sell tobacco products and e-cigarettes on the UK market.
- A transfer of powers will be required from the EU Commission to the government’s Secretary of State. The EU Commission currently holds a range of powers under the TPD that enable it to respond to emerging threats, changing safety and quality standards, and technological advances. If there is a no deal Brexit, these will be overseen in London from March 29.
For more detail on these developments, take a look at UK Parliament’s Leaving the EU: Tobacco Products and Public Health.