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China’s Vape Industry: New Regulation in Effect from May 1 | Dezan Shira & Associates

posted 2 years ago

China’s vape industry has been hit with another round of legislation. The new measures build upon a decision to move the industry under the purview of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and regulate e-cigarettes / vape products as tobacco products, which will put significant restraints on the industry catering to the domestic market. We discuss the finalized regulatory measures below, implemented from May 1, 2022. Technical standards approved by China’s market regulator will go into effect from October 1, 2022.

Updates:

  • On April 25, 2022, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) released a new set of trial policy measures for regulating the e-cigarette industry, titled Several Policies and Measures on Promoting the Legalization and Standardization of the Electronic Cigarette Industry (Trial) (the “trial policy measures”). The trial policy measures build upon existing e-cigarette rules and regulations to standardize and regulate the development of the industry in order “to put the development of the e-cigarette industry on the track toward legalization and standardization”. The new trial policy measures provide clarity on how the STMA intends to supervise and regulate the industry following the decision to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products and place them under the purview of the tobacco regulator. Jump to our updates on the latest trial policy measures here [anchor link].
  • On April 8, 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) approved technical standards, numbered GB 41700-2022, which among other requirements ban the sale of vapes of any flavor other than tobacco. The standards take effect from October 1, 2022, meaning that some flavored vape products can be sold in China up until this date, which is beyond the initial date of May 1 stipulated in the latest administrative measures regulating the market. The document also sets a wide range of other technical standards, including permitted ingredients and additives, nicotine levels, testing and safety standards, and accreditation.
  • On March 11, 2022, China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA), the country’s top regulator of tobacco products, released the finalized version of the Administrative Measures for E-Cigarettes (the ‘measures’), which lays out new regulations for the production, marketing, and sales of e-cigarettes in China. The latest version of the measures is an amendment of a previous draft that was released for public opinion in December 2021. Several provisions have been amended and new regulations added in the latest version. Among other new regulations, the measures now prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, a significant blow to the industry. The measures build upon a decision in 2021 to move the industry under the purview of the STMA and regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. The measures will go into effect on May 1, 2022.

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