After many twists and turns concerning the regulation of e-cigarettes in Belgium, it seems that a deadline has been put in place. After January 17th, the country may well have to endure a real apocalypse in the world of vaping.
On November 17, Belgium discovered the publication of the new royal decree relating to the manufacture and marketing of electronic cigarettes (See the article). Obviously, the shock was severe and ASBL UBV-BDB (Belgian Union for vaping) has made an appointment with the FPS Health in order to obtain clear and first-hand information from those in charge of the application of the Royal Decree. After an hour and a half of interview with clear answers to questions and a credible frankness of the interlocutors, the association is sounding the alarm in the face of regulations that could create a real apocalypse in the world of Belgian vaping.
So what are we really talking about? Because to say that the restrictions could be catastrophic without giving details would not really be of interest. According to what the ASBL UBV-BDB was able to collect it turns out that the royal decree would engage :
- The end of some rebuildable atomizers like Drippers.
- A limitation of atomizers to a capacity of 2 ml
- A limitation of the vials of e-liquid to 10 ml with a nicotine level capped at 20 mg. (No capacity limitation provided for e-liquids without nicotine)
- Any vaping product or material with the exception of the 0 mg liquid must be the subject of a notification for Belgium to be authorized for sale there.
- Possible purchases on the internet abroad, taking into account the agreements between countries (already all those of the European Union) which prevent selling in a country where it is prohibited. A non-notified product can be seized and destroyed by customs, however no fine is foreseen for the buyer (The state will have to turn against the seller)
- That an importer can take care of the Belgian notification if the producer has not done so.
- A ban on all advertising, sponsorship or propaganda on the e-cigarette
- The ban on having products tested in the store because this would be considered promotion
- Prohibition for groups or associations except medical (Tobacco Stop for example) to promote the use of e-cigarettes
- The ban on groups and Facebook pages that promote e-cigarettes
- A ban on claims of care or text such as “less harmful than cigarettes”
Nevertheless we must also note some other important points :
- There would be no problem with the sale of mechanical mods (as long as they are notified)
- In a private capacity, it will always be possible to express yourself and give your opinion on the e-cigarette
- An extension of the deadline for notification until July 17, 2017 is in place (not for compliance!)
- Some flexibility would be applied as to the implementation as long as all information on liquids is provided
- The “nicotine booster” will be authorized if it is correctly notified and labeled is legal (20 mg max, 10 ml max of course)
Here is clearly what awaits Belgium from 17 January 2017 if nothing moves. ASBL UBV-BDB reminder that they have met the service in charge of the application and that they will work according to their interpretation of the text and the slogans of the ministry, in plain language nothing will vary except court decision reversing their good right. The inconsistencies of this Royal Decree have therefore been pointed out, the fact that it is obsolete and counterproductive in the fight against smoking. However, the service responsible for the application remains convinced that these rules are to the advantage of the consumer.
The fact that it is forbidden to report that the e-cigarette is less harmful than the classic cigarette is for the association a violation of the European obligation to provide correct information to consumers.
For the ASBL UBV-BDB, the only way to modify the application is therefore case law in the event of a lawsuit by the state services or a legal challenge to the Royal Decree. There is only a month and a half left to attempt a legal action on the merits and at present, the funds of the association are only one sixth of the sum necessary to be able to take a lawyer and to make jurisprudence. . Belgian Friends, this may be the last chance to defend your right to vape, it's up to you to mobilize yourself so that legal action becomes possible.