Greece takes protective stance, letting cross-border sales out but not in

Greece is a partly closed market for e-cigarettes, with domestic distance sales allowed but not cross-border sales of e-cigarettes or e-liquids.

Selling cross-border from Greece to other EU member states is allowed, provided that country does not prohibit such sales – but no legal trade can come the other way since the implementation of the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

This ban, along with one on public vaping, is a key element of the country’s first specific legislation on vaping products, which was issued in 2016 and is explained in detail in an ECigIntelligence regulatory report.

Greece introduced taxation at the start of 2017 that applies to all e-liquids, with or without nicotine. The tax has driven the market towards the practice of shake and vape.

For example, a 60 ml bottle short-filled with 15 ml concentrated flavour, a 10 ml nicotine booster (18 mg/ml nicotine concentration) and 35 ml zero-nicotine base would result in a 60 ml 3 mg/ml nicotine concentration e-liquid – a 60 ml bottle taxed only on the 10 ml nicotine booster.

There has been some confusion regarding the labelling of flavoured products using food names, which remains open to interpretation.

A possible ban on flavoured e-liquids has been discussed but a source at the Directorate of Energy, Industrial and Chemical Products told ECigIntelligence that “for the time being, there are not any specific national provisions to ban flavouring compounds on the grounds of toxicity or respiratory irritancy”.

The Association of Greek Electronic Cigarette Businesses (SEEHT) is challenging the public vaping ban – which equates e-cigs with combustible tobacco – in the country’s Supreme Administrative Court.

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