Philippines Plans to Require E-Commerce Platforms to Stop Selling E-Cigarettes

Regulations by Jacky Yin
Jul.24.2023
Philippines Plans to Require E-Commerce Platforms to Stop Selling E-Cigarettes
The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) plans to issue a directive requiring e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada to stop selling e-cigarette products until they have adequate checking mechanisms in place to ensure that sellers are complying with the laws governing the sale of these products.

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) plans to issue a directive requiring e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada to stop selling e-cigarettes until they have adequate checking mechanisms in place to ensure that sellers are complying with the laws governing the sale of these products, according to inquirer.

 

Currently, e-commerce platforms do not have an age verification system in place, according to DTI deputy minister Ruth Castelo:

 

“We had a dialogue with them where we said that they need to fix their age verification system and to make sure that the vape products being sold do not violate laws. But when was that? Up to now, they still have none of these,”

 

The DTI responded by asking them to stop selling e-cigarette products until they address the issue.

 

DTI officials referenced the e-commerce platforms include Shopee and Lazada, as well as Facebook marketplaces and TikTok shops.

 

Marcus Valdez II, director of DTI's Bureau of Consumer Policy and Advocacy, said a departmental directive will be issued to formalise the policy.

 

DTI's statistics show that they have monitored 37,808 online e-cigarette shops since December 2022, when the rules and regulations implementing the Fog Hair Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Administration Act (Republic Act No. 11900) were released.

 

Of those, only 274 were found to be fully compliant, 1,649 were found to be non-compliant but with a valid address, and 35,885 were found to be compliant but did not provide an address.

 

As of the end of June, the DTI said it had confiscated 1,503 e-cigarette products from non-compliant shops, with a total value of P4.56 million (about Rs 600,000).

 

For first-time violators of the law who sell e-cigarette products to minors, establishments and retailers will be fined 10,000 pesos (about $1,300) or imprisoned for up to thirty days, at the discretion of the court.

 

For repeat offenders, the same fine will be imposed, but the offending business establishment will have its business licence or permit revoked.

 

Both brick-and-mortar and online shops are required to register with the government to sell e-cigarette products, and violators will face a fine of 100,000 pesos (about Rs. 13,000) for the first violation and 200,000 pesos (about Rs. 26,000) for the second violation.

 

And for the third violation, they will be fined 400,000 pesos (about Rs. 52,000) and have their business licences revoked.

 

Reference:

【1】Stop to vape selling on e-commerce platforms looms

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