What it means for business: a non-lawyer’s guide to TPD compliance

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The European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) comes into practical effect across the EU today.

However, e-cigarette companies should not use the TPD itself as their guide to compliance – instead, they must follow the separate laws based on the TPD that are being introduced in each member state.

These laws differ, in part because the TPD explicitly left certain matters up to individual countries, and in part because some EU member states have taken the opportunity to introduce other measures in the same legislation.

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    This means there can be no single checklist for compliance. But the main requirements are as follows:

    • Pre-notify any new products six months before they can be introduced into any EU market. Products do not require explicit approval, merely notification (and compliance with the product design and packaging rules).
    • Stop online sales in a number of EU countries.
    • Comply with new regulations relating to advertising, sponsorship and promotion of e-cigarette products. Again, the details differ from country to country, although TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and Internet display advertising will be banned everywhere.
    • Remove non-compliant products (e.g. bottles of e-liquid larger than 20 ml) from the market in those countries that do not allow a transitional period.
    • Adapt packaging and labelling to ensure it is TPD-compliant, including health warnings and a leaflet containing product information, in each country’s local language(s).
    • By 20th November 2016, submit a notification for each e-cigarette product currently (as of 20th May) sold in any of 28 EU member states. Include details of ingredients, components and emissions.
    • Also by 20th November 2016, ensure that non-compliant products are no longer manufactured or placed in EU markets (although they may be sold for a further six months).
    • By 20th May 2017, remove non-compliant products from the market in those countries that allow a transitional period.


    For more information, including detailed analyses of requirements in each country, please see our continuing coverage and consult ECigIntelligence’s archive of European country reports, regulatory trackers, and news.

    – ECigIntelligence staff

    Graphic: Carl Gamble

    Barnaby Page

    Editorial director
    Before joining ECigIntelligence in early 2014 as one of its first employees, Barnaby had a 30-year career as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and online services, working in Canada, the US and the Middle East as well as his current British location. He has edited publications covering fields including technology and the advertising industry, and was launch editor of the first large daily online news service in the British regional media. Barnaby also writes on classical music and film for a number of publications. Barnaby manages the editorial and reporting teams and works closely with the analyst teams, to ensure that all content meets high standards of quality and relevance. He also writes for the site occasionally, mostly on science-related issues, and is a member of the Association of British Science Writers.

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