The specialized media AgivapeNews released this week a draft for transposition of Article 20 of the European Directive into Italian law. If this document, translated into English must be considered with relative caution, its content seems to be consistent with the difficulties the Italian vape is currently facing.
— AgivapeNews (@AgivapeNews) July 22, 2015
Most changes to the original text target a specific application of the TPD in the Italian legislative field and specify certain conditions. For example, the “competent authorities” that manufacturers, importers and distributors must notify before marketing a product are specified.
Competencies are given to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development. Apart from the notification procedure, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance are designated as reference authorities.
New taxes in perspective
The original text of the European TPD specifies that Member States may collect fees related to the cost of the processing of information submitted to them (reception, storage, manipulation, analysis and publication). According to the new document discussed by the Italian Government which has been seeking to tax the products of the vape, it seems that such opportunity is now conceivable.
The two authorities will set the amounts of the fees with the tobacco manufacturers and importers. Sliding semantics, approximation, error in translation? The Directive does not rank the electronic cigarette as a tobacco product, but as a “related product”, subtle shade, notably with respect to the application of taxes.
Cross-border sales ban
The supervision of cross-border distance selling is specified in Article 18 of the Directive. Member States are thus free to prohibit or not this type of sales, ie from country to country. For Italy, the situation that could emerge clearly: no cross-border sales.
So, it may become forbidden for the foreign sellers to take and fulfill orders from customers located in Italy.
Remember that the Directive harshly regulates cross-border distance sales. In states that allows it, retailers will need to register with their authorities as well as with those of the country where their potential customers are located. Finally, traders outside the EU must register with the competent authorities of the states where their real or potential consumers reside.