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China Tobacco Standardizing the Electronic Cigarette Market news:
Reprint from The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.Translated by Jsbvape world view team.
To provincial tobacco monopoly bureaus, China National Tobacco Corporation Zhengzhou Tobacco Research Institute, and Shanghai New Tobacco Products Research Institute Co., Ltd.:
Recently, under the deployment of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, local tobacco monopoly bureaus have investigated and dealt with a number of cases of illegal production and sale of “flavored electronic cigarettes” that do not meet the mandatory national standard of Electronic Cigarette (GB 41700-2022) and fail to pass the technical review (i.e., flavored electronic cigarettes other than tobacco flavors that are explicitly prohibited from sale under the Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarette (Announcement No. 1 of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, 2022), Strictly crack down on the illegal production and sale of “milk tea cups”, “coke cans” and other covert electronic cigarettes, effectively protect the health and safety of people, especially the physical and mental health of teenagers, and achieve phased results. However, the production and operation of e-cigarettes without tobacco monopoly licenses occur from time to time. A few market entities that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law evade supervision and even violate laws and regulations. Some e-cigarette production enterprises trade outside the transaction management platform. Some e-cigarette production enterprises still illegally produce “taste e-cigarettes”, and some retail market entities use the Internet and e-commerce to illegally sell e-cigarettes. In order to further consolidate the results of supervision and law enforcement, standardize the order of the e-cigarette market, safeguard the rights and interests of legal market entities and consumers, and continue to promote the legalized and standardized governance of the e-cigarette industry, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration decided to organize and carry out a special inspection to standardize the order of the e-cigarette market. Relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:
1、 General requirements and basic principles
The special inspection of the main body of the electronic cigarette retail market, comprehensively find out the evidence clues of the illegal manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes, focus on regulating the production and operation activities of the main body of the electronic cigarette market, and create a good environment for promoting the legalization and standardization of the electronic cigarette industry.
（1） Adhere to legal supervision. We should strengthen the administration, supervision and handling of cases according to law, use the rule of law thinking and the rule of law to supervise the law-abiding and compliant operation of the e-cigarette market entities that have obtained the tobacco monopoly license according to law, ban the closure of the e-cigarette market entities that have not obtained the tobacco monopoly license according to law, investigate and punish the illegal sale of e-cigarettes, and standardize the order of the e-cigarette market.
（2） To ensure the health and safety of the people. Implement the people-centered development concept, actively respond to social concerns, and take effective measures to carry out comprehensive inspection and rectification at the source of production, distribution channels, and retail markets, so as to prevent unqualified and substandard electronic cigarette products from illegally entering the market, safeguard consumer rights and interests, and protect minors from electronic cigarette infringement.
（3） Strengthen collaboration and linkage. Adhere to the overall planning and overall promotion, and promote the construction of a nationwide “chess game” and industrial “whole chain” electronic cigarette regulatory work pattern. Cooperate with the local government, public security, municipal supervision and other departments to strengthen the clues, consultation, research and judgment, and joint law enforcement, promote joint efforts and common governance, and enhance joint efforts.
2、 Time steps
（1） Mobilization deployment and detailed plan (from today to March 5). The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration printed and issued special inspection notices, formulated inspection plans, deployed tasks, and clarified the division of responsibilities and work priorities. Each provincial tobacco monopoly bureau shall, according to the inspection task, refine the work plan and make overall arrangements for the inspection work within its jurisdiction.
（2） Comprehensive inspection, cleaning and rectification (from March 6 to April 25). Adhere to the synchronous progress of inspection and rectification, timely transfer and handle the problems and clues found in the inspection, investigate and deal with typical cases, solve outstanding problems, establish and improve the “one enterprise (household) one file” supervision account file, and do a good job of follow-up supervision and rectification.
（3） Summarize, improve and strengthen long-term effects (long-term persistence). The results of the special inspection were carefully summarized, and the provincial tobacco monopoly bureaus and inspection teams reported the special inspection results to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration before April 30. Tobacco monopoly bureaus at all levels should strengthen the application of inspection results, crack down on illegal production and operation activities, and ban the closure of market entities that have not obtained tobacco monopoly licenses according to law.
3、 Key points of inspection
（1） Electronic cigarette related manufacturers.
1. Enterprises that have not obtained the license for tobacco monopoly production enterprises according to law. Focus on checking whether there is illegal production and operation of nicotine, aerosol and electronic cigarette products after the end of the transition period on October 1, 2022.
2. Enterprises that have obtained the license for tobacco monopoly production enterprises according to law. The manufacturers of electronic cigarette products engaged in domestic sales should focus on whether to manufacture and sell “taste electronic cigarettes”; Whether to produce (process) domestic electronic cigarette products that have not passed the technical review; Whether there are acts of supply not according to the specified channels, and sales not conducted through the electronic cigarette trading platform. Enterprises engaged in the production of electronic cigarette products for export shall focus on checking whether the electronic cigarette products they produce are truly exported and whether relevant quality and safety systems have been established. Enterprises engaged in the production of nicotine and aerosol for electronic cigarettes should focus on the source channels of raw materials and the flow of products they purchase, and whether there is any supply behavior to enterprises that have not obtained tobacco monopoly license according to law.
（2） Electronic cigarette wholesale enterprises.
For enterprises that have obtained the license of tobacco monopoly wholesale enterprises according to law. Focus on checking whether there is product brand specification access, as well as the management of marketing activities of production enterprises, the operation rules of electronic cigarette products, and the construction of logistics support capacity.
（3） The main body of electronic cigarette retail market.
1. Those who have not obtained the tobacco monopoly retail license according to law. We will focus on checking whether we are illegally engaged in the sales of electronic cigarettes after the end of the transition period on October 1, 2022.
2. Those who have obtained the tobacco monopoly retail license according to law. Focus on checking whether to set up warning signs to protect minors, whether to sell e-cigarette products to minors, whether to sell “taste e-cigarette”, whether to purchase e-cigarette products from channels other than local e-cigarette wholesale enterprises that have obtained tobacco monopoly license according to law, whether to sell e-cigarette products through the network, whether to exclusively operate e-cigarette products, etc.
4、 Inspection method
（1） Check the source. Through comprehensive complaint reporting, market investigation, platform trading, Internet-related e-cigarette, e-cigarette logistics delivery and other regulatory information, we can find out the clues of illegal production and operation, and focus on tracing the source of illegal e-cigarette production.
（2） Clear the market. On-site law enforcement and inspection of the production and operation sites, warehouses, stores, etc. of the main body of the electronic cigarette market, and timely cleaning up the illegal products on the shelves. We will implement the dynamic management of licenses and standardize the production and operation of market entities that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses according to law.
（3） Chase responsibility. Solidify the evidence of illegal production and operation, and seriously investigate and deal with a number of cases of illegal production and operation of electronic cigarettes. If the illegal act is suspected to constitute a crime, it shall be promptly transferred to the judicial authority to investigate the criminal responsibility according to law, form a deterrent, and strengthen the quality and efficiency of electronic cigarette supervision.
5、 Work requirements
（1） Raise awareness and strengthen leadership. Fully understand the importance of special inspection for standardizing the order of electronic cigarette market, safeguarding consumer rights and interests, and protecting the healthy growth of minors, earnestly perform the supervision responsibility of electronic cigarette, strengthen the organization and leadership, overall arrangement and work coordination of special inspection, and improve the quality and efficiency of work. We will implement “double random and one open” supervision, implement the reform requirements of “release, management and service”, strictly standardize, fair and civilized law enforcement, and adhere to the bottom line of integrity and self-discipline.
（2） Elaborate organization and overall promotion. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration has made a unified deployment, which is integrated with the early deployment of electronic cigarette market supervision and normalization supervision. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the provincial tobacco monopoly bureaus form several inspection teams to conduct hierarchical and classified inspection. Each provincial tobacco monopoly bureau should actively coordinate with local public security, municipal supervision and other departments to ensure that the inspection is carried out on an enterprise-by-enterprise basis.
（3） Strengthen publicity and effective guidance. Strengthen the publicity and implementation of laws, regulations and policies on e-cigarettes, guide the e-cigarette market subject to consciously abide by the law, and supervise the e-cigarette market subject who has obtained the tobacco monopoly license according to law to trade and record through the e-cigarette trading platform. We should strengthen the interpretation of the law and the warning of cases to form a regulatory deterrent. Take the initiative to respond to social concerns, timely reflect the results of special inspections, and create a good atmosphere of public opinion.
All provincial tobacco monopoly bureaus and inspection teams should timely sort out the new situations, problems, typical cases and phased progress encountered in the special inspection, and do a good job in reporting, communication and work connection. After the completion of the special inspection, it is necessary to comprehensively summarize the results of the work, beneficial experience, outstanding problems, major case investigation and handling, policy measures and suggestions, and report to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.
Office of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration
February 28, 2023