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Online platforms warned of restrictions on selling vape products

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warned online sellers of vaping products to observe the restrictions against selling these items, particularly to minors.

Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said during a meeting with e-commerce industry representatives on March 1 that minors cannot be allowed to access vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products.

“We called for a high-level representation to this meeting with the aim of getting the commitment of the decision makers; we want to ensure that products prohibited in Republic Act (RA) No. 11900 (Vape Law) are not sold (on) platforms in blatant contravention of the law,” Ms. Castelo said.  

“Failure to comply with the requirements set forth in relevant issuances shall constrain the DTI to undertake all necessary and available legal action against these business entities,” she added.

The DTI said that all prohibited items can no longer be sold on offline and online retail markets following the effectivity of the Vape Law’s implementing rules and regulations on Dec. 28.

“Meanwhile, manufacturers and importers are given an 18-month transitory period until June 5, 2024, to comply with product registration and certification requirements of all electronic or vaporized nicotine devices and allowed consumables under RA 11900,” the DTI said.

“For product registration, only Bureau of Philippine Standards-registered and certified vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, their devices, and novel tobacco products with the applicable graphic and textual health warnings shall be sold to the general public by June 2024,” it added.

Ms. Castelo warned against platforms attempting to “circumvent” the law.

According to the DTI, the platforms that attended the meeting include representatives from Meta Platforms, Inc., Lazada E-Services Philippines, Inc., Shopee Philippines, Inc., GrabExpress, Inc. PH, Carousell, Pick.A.Roo (Agile Digital Ventures, Inc.), Delivery Hero Philippines, Inc., Prosperna, and Etaily (TPA Operations Corp.).

“Platforms that fail or refuse to send representatives are deemed to have been served notice and cannot claim ignorance of the procedure implemented by the DTI,” the DTI said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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