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Advertising ban but vaping still allowed in public places

Martijn Vronken is the secretary of the Dutch users association AVCADO
Martijn Vronken is the secretary of the Dutch users association ACVODA

The Netherlands have been one of the first EU Member State to work on EU TPD’s transposition since November 2014. The final rules were published in the Official Journal by Ministry of Public Health on May 18th.

Advertising vaping products is prohibited the same way as for tobacco products”, says Martijn, “the impact on store’s display is still uncertain but exhibiting products in their original packages should not be a problem”.

“Currently, vaping is authorized in public places“, he explains, “unless the contrary is stated”. Even if a ban on vaping is hardly believable in vape shops, retailers will however not be totally free to offer this service to their customers.

“Customers will be allowed to test e-liquids in vape shops but they will be charged 10 cents, the estimated cost for the e-liquid consumed. Note also that a shop will only be considered as vape shop (specialized in vaping products) if its catalog contains at least 90 different references and its surface is at least of 10 m2. But if the store was created before May 20th, 2017 this rule does not apply.”

Online national and cross-border sales authorized

Notification fees are set to €44.85 per new product, and apply to those that are “unquestionably aimed at vaping”, what the Secretary illustrates by “a drip-tip, for example, is unquestionably aimed at vaping, so this product need to be notified”. Nevertheless, a notification filed before November 20th will be exempted from that fee.

Online national and cross-border sales remain authorized but the Dutch vaper comments: “the mandatory labels in Dutch on e-liquids might be difficult to obtain for products purchased abroad. With the UK, we are the only Member State where notification systems are operational“.

The Directive “on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions (…) concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products” finally leaves room, as highlighted, for regional particularities.