UKVIA issues compliance guidance for disposable vapes

The UKVIA has released new compliance guidance for disposable vape products to tackle the rising issue of counterfeit vape devices entering the UK market. The guidance aims to help retailers and wholesalers identify non-compliant disposable vape products and clarifies the current regulations. 

It comes after more raids have taken place in shops selling vape products across the country by Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). In one raid in Kent, e-cigarettes with more than six-times the legal nicotine limit were seized, alongside £20,000 worth of illegal tobacco and alcohol products. 

The guidance, produced following talks between the UKVIA and Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), provides advice on how to spot counterfeit disposable vape products. With more devices constantly entering the market, it’s a useful tool for retailers and wholesalers importing such items into the UK. 


Any disposable vape devices that contain nicotine must follow all of the current Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)/Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). Disposable devices must conform with the following:

  • Have a tank/reservoir capacity of no more than 2ml
  • Have a nicotine level no higher than 20mg/ml (2%)
  • They must be registered with the MHRA and appear on the MHRA’s website as approved

The guidance also lists the packaging requirements for disposable vape products, including all the information, health warnings and instructions for use printed on the box and leaflet inside. If products are not listed on the MHRA website yet, then you cannot sell them and shouldn’t be supplied them, regardless of whether the application is in progress. 


Consequences of selling illegal disposable vapes

Anyone caught selling non-compliant products can face prosecution, risk having their stock seized and may receive fines of up to £5,000 per instance. Besides that, many illegal vape products are non-compliant for a reason. Anyone selling such products are putting their customers’ health and safety at risk as they may contain harmful illegal ingredients, so it’s a moral issue as well as a legal one. 

You can view the UKVIA’s guidance in full here, and search for products on the MHRA register. All you need is the ECID number or brand names to search for the vape device you’re considering purchasing for sale. 

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