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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Intensified enforcement of rules on sale of vape products assured

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has assured the public of its intensified enforcement activities to ensure the compliance of business establishments with Republic Act No. 11900 (RA 11900) or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act,” and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

With the effectivity of the IRR on December 28, 2022, the DTI said manufacturers and importers are given an 18-month transitory period until June 5,2024, to comply with product registration and certification requirements under RA 11900.

For product registration, the DTI said only Bureau of Philippine Standards-registered and certified vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, their devices, and novel tobacco products with the applicable graphic and textual health warnings shall be sold to the general public by June 2024.

The DTI reminded online and offline businesses to strictly comply with the law particularly in ensuring that minors have no access to these products, adding that violators will be prosecuted accordingly.

The trade department, through the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), its enforcement arm, recently inspected 11 vape shops selling vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products in Manila.

The enforcement operation, headed by Assistant Secretary for DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Ann Claire C. Cabochan said that of the 11 inspected, eight non-conforming shops were issued a notice of violation (NOV), requiring each of them to submit a written explanation within 48 hours from receipt.

According to DTI, the inspections resulted in the sealing of 3,318 units of vape products worth P863,240 in Manila.

The DTI-FTEB said among the rules that were allegedly violated by the vape shops are: Rule V, Section 6 that requires posting of the minimum age requirement around the establishment.

Another probable rule violation was Rule VI, Section 1, which prohibits selling vapor products with fruit flavors and/or packaging that uses cartoon characters.

Image credits: Aleksandr Kiriak | Dreamstime.com

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