Philippine DTI Crackdown on Non-Compliant Vape Shops
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Philippines has recently taken decisive action against vape shops that are not complying with the laws and regulations governing the sale of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products. Yesterday, the DTI closed down two such shops in Valenzuela City. This article explores the reasons for the crackdown and what it means for the vape industry in the Philippines.
Confiscation of Vape Products for Violating Republic Act 11900
The DTI seized 205 pieces of vape products, with a total value of P63,340, from one of the vape shops for violating Republic Act 11900, which is also known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act. This law prohibits the sale of vape products that have packaging, labeling, or marketing using flavor descriptors that are known to particularly appeal to minors.
Read more: Vaping Laws in Philippines
DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau Inspects Vape Shops
The DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau conducted inspections of vape shops in Valenzuela City. These inspections were led by DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo and Valenzuela Mayor Wes Gatchalian.
Reasons for Closing Vape Shops: Lack of Business Permit and Proximity to Schools
During the inspections, at least two vape shops were ordered to close due to a lack of a business permit and being located too close to a school. Mayor Gatchalian explained that one of the shops was situated within 100 meters of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela.
Legal Framework: Section 9 of RA 11900
Section 9 of RA 11900 states that the sale, promotion, advertising, and product demonstration of Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products or Novel Tobacco Products within 100 meters of a school, playground, or other facility frequented by minors is prohibited.
RA 11900: A Comprehensive Law on Vapor Products
RA 11900, which lapsed into law on July 25, 2022, covers a wide range of products, including vapor products/refills, vapor product devices, heated tobacco products, HTP consumables and devices, as well as novel tobacco products.
One Inspected Vape Store Found Compliant
Initial data from the DTI showed that one of the inspected vape stores was compliant with the law.
DTI Grateful for Mayor Gatchalian’s Support
Undersecretary Castelo expressed gratitude to Mayor Gatchalian for supporting the DTI’s crackdown on non-compliant vape stores.
DTI Urges E-Commerce Platforms to Comply with Vape Product Regulations
Apart from physical vape stores, the DTI has also urged e-commerce platforms to ensure compliance with the laws regulating vape products. Undersecretary Castelo stated, “We appeal to online marketplaces to police their sellers and ensure that appropriate age verification mechanisms and point of sale signs are in place, and that all listed products bear the required graphic health warnings prescribed by law.”
The recent crackdown on non-compliant vape shops by the Philippine DTI highlights the government’s commitment to regulating the vape industry and protecting the health and safety of its citizens. As the DTI continues to enforce RA 11900 and other relevant laws, it is essential for vape shops and e-commerce platforms to ensure they are compliant to avoid penalties and closures.
- What is the Philippine DTI?
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is a government agency in the Philippines responsible for regulating trade and industry, including the vape industry.
- What is Republic Act 11900?
Republic Act 11900, also known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, is a law that governs the sale and marketing of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products in the Philippines.
- What actions has the DTI taken against non-compliant vape shops?
The DTI has closed down at least two vape shops in Valenzuela City for violating RA 11900, including the sale of products with flavor descriptors that appeal to minors and being located too close to a school.
- What does RA 11900 cover?
RA 11900 covers a wide range of products, including vapor products/refills, vapor product devices, heated tobacco products, HTP consumables and devices, as well as novel tobacco products.
- What is the DTI’s message to e-commerce platforms selling vape products?
The DTI urges e-commerce platforms to police their sellers, implement age verification mechanisms, display appropriate point-of-sale signs, and ensure that all listed products bear the required graphic health warnings prescribed by law.