Most European countries remain thoroughly unprepared for the implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), according to a new report from ECigIntelligence.
At the turn of the year, 11 out of 28 member states had not officially even begun the legislative process for implementation of the directive. Only three (the Netherlands, Lithuania and Portugal) had completed the process, with the remaining 50% somewhere along the line – even though 20th May 2016 is the deadline for full implementation.
The ECigIntelligence report analyses three potential scenarios for countries that fail to meet the implementation deadline, and warns that there is a relatively high probability of EU member states such as Romania, Ireland and Denmark missing it.
Even in countries where implementation may happen before the deadline, the severe delay in drafting legislation has left e-cigarette companies with little time to come into compliance with the new laws. In response, a number of countries have included a grace period for companies to bring products into line – by allowing continued sales of non-compliant products until May 2017.
The report also finds that several EU member states which are in the process of implementing the TPD have proposed “gold-plated” measures that go beyond the minimum requirements set forth in the EU directive. This particularly applies in the areas of advertising/marketing restrictions and distance sales, the report says.
Bans on under-age sales, restrictions on public vaping and taxes for e-cigarette products are also outside the realms of the TPD, but in some cases are being introduced at the same time as the necessary legislation for TPD compliance.
The new report from ECigIntelligence will help to clarify where countries are in the process of implementing the TPD, what will happen if they fail to meet the deadline, and the different approaches that individual EU member states are taking to e-cig regulation.
It is currently available to Silver, Gold and Platinum subscribers, and will soon also be ready to purchase as a standalone PDF from our Buy Reports page.
– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff