UKVIA: Vape Products Should Undergo Regular Compliance Testing
The UK Vaping Industry Association has stated that the removal of overfilled ELFBAR and Lost Mary products from shelves highlights a clear failure in the UK’s e-cigarette regulatory framework.
UKVIA Director General John Dunne said that it is now clear that approving e-cigarette products without conducting compliance testing before or after approval is not viable.
He made these remarks following a joint statement by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), revealing that the overfilled products removed from sale include ELFBAR and Lost Mary brands.
Dunne said that while mistakes are known to happen, every effort must be made to ensure they occur infrequently, as the entire industry’s reputation depends on it, as seen in recent weeks.
“There should be a proactive testing plan within the MHRA approval process, supported by random spot checks, to ensure that not only are products fully compliant when first entering the market, but that standards do not decline over time.”
“We also need to see the relevant authorities taking swift and decisive action when any non-compliant behavior is discovered, so that errors are quickly rectified and manufacturers, distributors, and retailers know exactly what actions they need to take.”
He said that the recent exposure of overfilling issues and the delay between announcing non-compliant products must be removed, causing widespread confusion within the industry and among consumers.
Dunne stated that to maintain public confidence in the industry, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers must realize that any non-compliant behavior will be taken seriously.
He added that the MHRA should seriously consider suspending the ECID numbers of non-compliant products found until it is confident that the issue has been rectified.
“This also highlights the need for the establishment of universal standards for compliance testing, such as e-cigarette liquid volume.”
“UKVIA has seen independent test results for e-cigarette products, and it is concerning that the results we see are contradictory, depending on the type of test conducted.”
The recent joint statement by CTSI and MHRA said that on February 23, CTSI and HMRA notified enforcement officers, advising that all non-compliant Elf Bars must cease sale in accordance with the vigilance requirement of TRPR Article 39.
“Furthermore, additional information was exchanged between Elf Bar and MHRA to update the corrective action plan and identify more affected batches, including some Lost Mary products.”
“CTSI and MHRA are pleased to note that compliant replacement products have arrived in the country. We continue to expect all manufacturers to act responsibly and share any further information received with enforcement officers as soon as possible.”
The joint statement added:
There is no evidence to suggest that overfilled Elf Bars or Lost Mary products pose a greater health risk during normal use.
The vigilance requirement in Article 39 explicitly applies to non-compliant products as well as unsafe products.
Non-compliant products must not be sold to consumers.
As always, whether action should be taken on non-compliant batches of products still on shelves is to be determined locally, based on local priorities, competitive demands, and available resources.
The affected batches are as follows:
ELFBAR 600s with the following batch numbers: EP0I7693, EP020398, EP020250, EP019749, EP020257, EP019746, EP020120, EP020394, EP019893, EP019894
Lost Mary BM600 Flavors: Watermelon, Double Apple, Kiwi Passion Fruit Pomegranate, Cotton Candy Ice, Strawberry Ice, Blueberry Sour Raspberry Batch numbers: LP017641 LP018253 LP019438 LP019923 LP020487