Recently I spent a day with trading standards discussing the electronic cigarette and e liquid UK market. We covered the current UK legislation, current concerns that Trading Standards have in regards to the sale of ecigarettes and e liquid and possible future actions. This meeting proved to be very interesting in understanding the worries, concerns and actions training standards have and are taking.
e Liquid & Trading Standards
The sale of e liquid is high on the priority list of Trading Standards in regards to country of origin, liquid ingredients, labelling and standard regulations in regards to the sale of goods with dangerous chemicals.
- CHIP Labelling
Chip labelling law Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009, which came into force on 6 April 2009. E Liquid vendors (shops, websites, stalls and all other sellers) must have CHIP 4 labelling as the basics on every e liquid bottle. The label must show the classification of chemical ingredients and their dangers, medical advice for accidents, tactile warning label for the blind as well as made-by and use-by dates. All labels should show the vendors business address and contact details.
- Child Safety
All e liquid bottles should have a child-proof cap and display large warning logos such as the scull and crossbones.
- Country of Origin
From my discussions with Trading Standards I understand that they are very keen to investigate and (unofficial as of yet) stamp out the sale of Chinese e liquid because of the lack of quality control the imported Chinese e liquids have in regards to labelling and ingredients. Their concern is that the public might be buying e liquid with ingredients and percentages that do not match the labelling statements.
Trading Standards Action So Far
Lots of vendors especially market stall vendors have been closed due to the sale of unregulated e liquid, one market stall vendor was selling e liquid with a small white label simply displaying the flavour and nicotine strength.
The Sale of Electronic Cigarette Kits & Trading Standards
In our discussion we looked at the sale of the electronic cigarette starter kits and any issues they had come across that had caused concern. Here are a list of the areas trading standards are looking at when it comes to ecigarette kit sales.
- e Cig Packaging
The packaging must not show any industry logos or badges of quality if that product has not actually been tested for them. Also each kit must contain the vendors full business name, business address and content numbers.
- eCig Components
A priority with trading standards is the supply of non-EU standard wall socket chargers. A number of imported Chinese UK wall socket chargers have blown up and most fail to comply with EU regulation. All wall plugs must conform to EU regulation or they are illegal to sell. This is a health and safety issue.
Business Identity & Trading Standards
All electronic cigarette vendors must comply with the companies act of 2007 by showing their legal trading and sole trader identities clearly on all shop, website and market stall premises.