China State Tobacco Monopoly Administration Issues Inspection Notice

Regulations
Mar.01.2023
Titled "Notice on Conducting Special Inspections to Regulate the Market Order of Electronic Cigarettes by the Office of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration"

Disclaimer: This notice is translated from "国家烟草专卖局办公室关于开展规范电子烟市场秩序专项检查的通知" issued by the China State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) on Feb. 28, 2023.  The translation is provided for reference only. The Chinese original text attached to the end of this article is the only authoritative source of information.

 

Notice on Conducting Special Inspections to Regulate the Market Order of Electronic Cigarettes by the Office of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration

 

Provincial-level tobacco monopoly bureaus, the Zhengzhou Tobacco Research Institute of China National Tobacco Corporation, and Shanghai New Tobacco Product Research Institute Co., Ltd.:

 

Recently, under the deployment of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, various local tobacco monopoly bureaus across the country have cracked down on a number of cases involving the illegal production and sale of flavored electronic cigarettes that do not comply with the mandatory national standard for electronic cigarettes (GB 41700-2022) and have not passed the technical evaluation. These cases involve flavored electronic cigarettes other than tobacco flavor, which are expressly prohibited from being sold according to the Electronic Cigarette Management Regulations (State Tobacco Monopoly Administration Notice No. 1 of 2022), and also include severe crackdowns on hidden and variant electronic cigarettes such as "milk tea cups" and "cola tins". These actions have effectively protected public health and safety, especially the physical and mental health of young people, and have achieved phased results. However, there are still incidents of electronic cigarette production and operation without a tobacco monopoly license, and some market entities that have legally obtained tobacco monopoly licenses are evading supervision and even engaging in illegal activities. Some electronic cigarette manufacturers are conducting transactions outside of management platforms, and some are still producing "flavored electronic cigarettes" illegally. Some retail market entities are using the internet and micro-businesses to illegally sell electronic cigarettes. In order to further consolidate the results of supervision and law enforcement, standardize the order of the electronic cigarette market, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of market entities and consumers, and continuously promote the legalization and standardized governance of the electronic cigarette industry, the National Tobacco Monopoly Bureau has decided to organize a special inspection to regulate the order of the electronic cigarette market. The relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:

 

I. General Requirements and Principles

 

Guided by Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will comprehensively implement the "Tobacco Monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China," "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors," "Implementation Regulations of the Tobacco Monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China," "Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarettes," and mandatory national standards for electronic cigarettes. Through conducting special inspections on production enterprises, wholesale enterprises, and retail market entities related to electronic cigarettes, we will comprehensively identify evidence and clues of illegal production and sales of electronic cigarettes, and focus on regulating the production and business activities of electronic cigarette market entities, in order to create a favorable environment for promoting the legalization, standardization, and governance of the electronic cigarette industry.

 

I. Adhere to law-based regulation. Strengthen law-based administration, regulation, and law enforcement, use the rule of law thinking and methods, supervise the legal and compliant operation of electronic cigarette market entities that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law, shut down electronic cigarette market entities that have not obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law, investigate and crack down on illegal production and sale of electronic cigarettes, and standardize the electronic cigarette market order.

 

II. Ensure people's health and safety. Implement the development concept of putting people first, actively respond to social concerns, take effective measures, conduct comprehensive inspections and clean-ups at the production source, circulation channels, and retail markets, eliminate unqualified and non-compliant electronic cigarette products from illegally entering the market, safeguard consumer rights, and protect minors from electronic cigarette harm.

 

III. Strengthen coordination and linkage. Adhere to overall planning and overall promotion, promote the construction of a national "overall situation" and industry "full chain" electronic cigarette regulatory work pattern. Work with local governments and public security, market supervision, and other departments to strengthen clue tracing, consultation and judgment, joint law enforcement, promote joint governance, and enhance work effectiveness.


II. Timetable

 

I. Mobilization and deployment, detailed plan (from now until March 5). The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration will issue a special inspection notice, formulate inspection plans, deploy tasks, and clarify responsibilities and work priorities. Provincial-level tobacco monopoly bureaus will refine work plans and coordinate inspection work within their jurisdiction according to the inspection tasks.

 

II. Comprehensive inspection, cleaning and rectification (from March 6 to April 25). Inspections and rectification will be carried out simultaneously. Problems and leads discovered during inspections will be promptly transferred for handling, typical cases will be investigated and solved, and a sound management system will be established to follow up on subsequent supervision and rectification work.

 

III. Summarize and enhance, strengthen long-term effectiveness (long-term persistence). The results of the special inspection will be carefully summarized, and the provincial-level tobacco monopoly bureaus and inspection teams will report the results to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration before April 30. The tobacco monopoly bureaus at all levels will strengthen the use of inspection results, crack down on illegal production and business activities, and shut down market entities that have not obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law.

 

III. Inspection Focus

 

I. Electronic cigarette-related production enterprises.

 

(1) Unlicensed tobacco monopoly production enterprises that produce and operate electronic cigarette nicotine, aerosols, electronic cigarette products and other goods illegally after the transition period ends on October 1, 2022.

 

(2) Licensed tobacco monopoly production enterprises that produce electronic cigarette products for domestic sales will be the focus of inspection. The inspection will focus on whether they produce (or contract processing of) untested domestic electronic cigarette products, whether they produce "flavored electronic cigarettes", whether they sell products through unregulated channels, and whether they sell products through electronic cigarette trading platforms. For those who produce electronic cigarette nicotine, aerosols and other raw materials, the focus of the inspection will be on the source of their raw materials and the flow of their products, as well as whether they supply goods to unlicensed tobacco monopoly enterprises.

 

II. Electronic cigarette wholesale companies.

 

For tobacco monopoly wholesale companies that have obtained licenses in accordance with the law. Key inspections include whether there is a product brand and specification access system, as well as management of market and promotional activities by manufacturing companies, electronic cigarette product management rules, and logistics capabilities.

 

III. Subjects in the electronic cigarette retail market.

 

For those who have not obtained a tobacco monopoly retail license in accordance with the law. Key inspections include whether they are engaging in illegal sales of electronic cigarettes after the end of the transition period on October 1, 2022.

 

For those who have obtained a tobacco monopoly retail license in accordance with the law. Key inspections include whether they have set up warning signs to protect minors, whether they are selling electronic cigarette products to minors, whether they are selling "flavored electronic cigarettes", whether they are purchasing electronic cigarette products from channels outside of electronic cigarette wholesale companies that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses locally, whether they are selling electronic cigarette products online, and whether they have exclusive rights to operate electronic cigarette products, etc.

 

IV. Inspection Methods

 

I. Trace the origin. Through comprehensive complaints and reports, market investigations, platform transactions, internet-related electronic cigarette activities, and electronic cigarette logistics and delivery, regulatory information will be gathered to identify illegal production and business operations, and to focus on investigating the source of illegal electronic cigarette production.

 

II. Purify the market. On-site inspections will be conducted on electronic cigarette market entities, including production and business premises, warehouses, and storefronts, to promptly clear and remove illegal products from the market. The dynamic management of permits will be implemented to regulate the production and business operations of market entities that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law.

 

III. Hold accountable. The evidence of illegal production and business operations will be solidified, and a number of cases of illegal production and business of electronic cigarettes will be seriously investigated and dealt with. If illegal activities constitute a crime, the case will be promptly transferred to the judicial organs for criminal responsibility in accordance with the law to create a deterrent effect and strengthen the quality and effectiveness of electronic cigarette supervision.

 

V. Work Requirements

 

I. Raise awareness and strengthen leadership. Fully recognizing the important significance of special inspections for regulating the order of the electronic cigarette market, safeguarding consumer rights, and protecting the healthy growth of minors, electronic cigarette regulatory responsibilities will be effectively fulfilled. The organization, leadership, coordination, and efficiency of the special inspection will be strengthened. The "double random, one open" supervision and the "streamlining administration and delegating power" reform requirements will be implemented, and fair, just, and civilized law enforcement will be strictly regulated while adhering to the bottom line of integrity and self-discipline.

 

II. Carefully organize and coordinate. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration will organize and coordinate with the previously deployed electronic cigarette market regulatory work inspection and routine supervision. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and provincial-level tobacco monopoly administrations will form several inspection teams to conduct layered and classified inspections. Provincial-level tobacco monopoly administrations should take the initiative to coordinate with local public security and market supervision departments to ensure that inspections are conducted at every enterprise and household.

 

III. Strengthen propaganda and effective guidance. Strengthen the promotion and implementation of electronic cigarette laws, regulations, and policies, guide electronic cigarette market entities to operate in compliance with the law, supervise electronic cigarette market entities that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses to conduct transactions, and register through electronic cigarette trading platforms in accordance with the law. Strengthen the use of cases to interpret the law and demonstrate the warning, and create a regulatory deterrent. Actively respond to social concerns, timely reflect on the effectiveness of special inspections, and create a good public opinion atmosphere.

 

Provincial-level tobacco monopoly administrations and inspection teams should timely organize new situations, new problems, typical cases, and phased progress encountered in the special inspection, and do a good job in relevant reporting, communication, and work connection. After the special inspection is completed, the work effectiveness, beneficial experience, outstanding problems, major cases investigated, policy recommendations, and other situations of the work will be comprehensively summarized and reported to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

 

State Tobacco Monopoly Administration Office

February 28, 2023


Original text:

 

各省级烟草专卖局,中国烟草总公司郑州烟草研究院,上海新型烟草制品研究院有限公司:

 近期,各地烟草专卖局在国家烟草专卖局部署下,依法查处了一批非法制售不符合《电子烟》强制性国家标准(GB 41700-2022)未通过技术审评的“口味电子烟”〔即《电子烟管理办法》(国家烟草专卖局公告2022年第1号)明确规定禁止销售的除烟草口味外的调味电子烟〕案件,严厉打击非法制售“奶茶杯”“可乐罐”等隐形变异电子烟行为,有力保护人民健康安全特别是青少年身心健康,取得阶段性成效。但是无烟草专卖许可证生产经营电子烟行为时有发生,少数依法获得烟草专卖许可证的市场主体规避监管,甚至违法违规,有的电子烟生产企业在交易管理平台以外进行交易,个别电子烟生产企业仍违法生产“口味电子烟”,个别零售市场主体运用互联网和微商违法销售电子烟等。为进一步巩固监管执法成果,规范电子烟市场秩序,维护合法市场主体和消费者权益,持续推动电子烟产业法治化规范化治理,国家烟草专卖局决定组织开展规范电子烟市场秩序专项检查。现将有关事项通知如下:

 

一、总体要求和基本原则

以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,全面落实《 中华人民共和国烟草专卖法》《中华人民共和国未成年人保护法》《中华人民共和国烟草专卖法实施条例》及《电子烟管理办法》、《电子烟》强制性国家标准等规定,通过开展对电子烟相关生产企业、电子烟批发企业、电子烟零售市场主体专项检查,全面摸排非法制售电子烟证据线索,着力规范电子烟市场主体生产经营活动,为推动电子烟产业法治化规范化治理营造良好环境。

(一)坚持依法监管。强化依法行政、依法监管、依法办案,运用法治思维和法治方式,督导依法获得烟草专卖许可证的电子烟市场主体守法合规经营,取缔关停未依法获得烟草专卖许可证的电子烟市场主体,查处打击非法制售电子烟行为,规范电子烟市场秩序。

(二)保障人民健康安全。落实以人民为中心发展思想,积极回应社会关切,采取有力措施,在生产源头、流通渠道、零售市场开展全面检查和清理整顿,杜绝不合格不达标电子烟产品非法流入市场,维护消费者权益,保护未成年人免受电子烟侵害。

(三)强化协同联动。坚持全局谋划和整体推进,推动构建全国“一盘棋”、产业“全链条”电子烟监管工作格局。联合地方政府及公安、市监等部门,加强线索摸排、会商研判、联合执法,推动齐抓共治,增强工作合力。

 

二、时间步骤

(一)动员部署、细化方案(从即日起至3月5日)。国家烟草专卖局印发专项检查通知,制订检查方案,部署任务,明确责任分工和工作重点。各省级烟草专卖局根据检查任务,细化工作方案,统筹安排本辖区检查工作。

(二)全面检查、清理整治(从3月6日至4月25日)。坚持检查和整治同步推进,对检查中发现的问题线索及时移交处理,查处典型案件,解决突出问题,建立健全“一企(户)一档”监管台账档案,做好后续监管、整治工作。

(三)总结提升、强化长效(长期坚持)。认真总结专项检查成果,各省级烟草专卖局、各检查组于4月30日前将专项检查情况报国家烟草专卖局。各级烟草专卖局强化检查结果运用,打击非法生产经营活动,取缔关停未依法获得烟草专卖许可证的市场主体。

 

三、检查重点

(一)电子烟相关生产企业。

1.对未依法获得烟草专卖生产企业许可证企业。重点检查2022年10月1日过渡期结束后是否存在非法生产经营电子烟用烟碱、雾化物、电子烟产品等行为。

2.对依法获得烟草专卖生产企业许可证企业。从事内销的电子烟产品生产企业重点检查是否制售“口味电子烟”;是否生产(代加工)未通过技术审评的内销电子烟产品;是否存在不按规定渠道供货的行为,以及未通过电子烟交易平台进行的销售行为等。从事出口电子烟产品生产企业重点检查其生产的电子烟产品是否为真实出口以及是否建立相关质量安全制度等。从事电子烟用烟碱、雾化物等生产企业重点检查其采购的原料来源渠道及产品流向,是否存在向未依法获得烟草专卖许可证企业供货行为等。

(二)电子烟批发企业。

对依法获得烟草专卖批发企业许可证企业。重点检查是否存在产品品牌规格准入,以及生产企业市场营销活动管理、电子烟产品经营规则、物流保障能力建设等。

(三)电子烟零售市场主体。

1.对未依法获得烟草专卖零售许可证的。重点检查2022年10月1日过渡期结束后是否非法从事电子烟销售业务。

2.对依法获得烟草专卖零售许可证的。重点检查是否设置保护未成年人警示标志,是否向未成年人销售电子烟产品,是否销售“口味电子烟”,是否从当地依法获得烟草专卖许可证的电子烟批发企业之外的渠道购进电子烟产品,是否通过网络销售电子烟产品,是否排他性经营电子烟产品等。

 

四、检查方式

(一)查源头。通过综合投诉举报、市场排查、平台交易、互联网涉电子烟、电子烟物流寄递等监管信息,摸排非法生产经营线索,重点追查非法电子烟生产源头。

(二)清市场。现场执法检查电子烟市场主体生产经营场所、仓库、店面等,及时清理下架在售非法产品。落实许可证动态管理,规范依法获得烟草专卖许可证的市场主体生产经营行为。

(三)追责任。固化非法生产经营证据,严肃查处一批非法生产经营电子烟案件,违法行为涉嫌构成犯罪的及时移送司法机关依法追究刑事责任,形成震慑,强化电子烟监管质效。

 

五、工作要求

(一)提高认识,加强领导。充分认识专项检查对规范电子烟市场秩序、维护消费者权益、保护未成年人健康成长的重要意义,切实履行电子烟监管职责,加强专项检查的组织领导、统筹部署和工作协同,提升工作质效。落实“双随机、一公开”监管,落实“放管服”改革要求,严格规范公正文明执法,坚守廉洁自律底线。

(二)精心组织,统筹推进。国家烟草专卖局统一部署,与前期部署开展的电子烟市场监管工作督查、常态化监管等统筹衔接。国家烟草专卖局和各省级烟草专卖局组成若干检查组分层分类检查。各省级烟草专卖局要主动协调地方公安、市监等部门,确保逐企逐户检查落实到位。

(三)加强宣传,有效引导。加强电子烟法律法规及政策宣贯,引导电子烟市场主体自觉守法经营,督导依法获得烟草专卖许可证的电子烟市场主体通过电子烟交易平台进行交易和备案。加强以案释法、以案示警,形成监管震慑。主动发声回应社会关切,及时反映专项检查成效,营造良好舆论氛围。

各省级烟草专卖局、各检查组要及时整理专项检查中遇到的新情况新问题、典型案例和阶段性进展,做好相关汇报沟通和工作衔接。在专项检查结束后,要全面总结工作开展成效、有益经验、存在突出问题、重大案件查办、政策措施建议等情况,向国家烟草专卖局报告。

国家烟草专卖局办公室

2023年2月28日

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