The Chinese vape industry has been hit with another round of legislation that will ban the use of flavored vapes within China and the export of any vape products to countries that have not specifically authorized the use of those products. The new regulations are planned to take effect on May 1st.
According to the Vaping360 article titled, China Set to Prohibit Sales of Flavored Vapes, “The Chinese government has issued a revised draft of the standards for vaping products that include a ban on domestic sales of products containing non-tobacco flavors. The flavor rules, if finalized, will take effect May 1, along with stringent licensing requirements for manufacturers.”
Chinese Vape Sales
China Tobacco is the world’s largest tobacco company. It is owned and controlled by the Chinese government and is responsible for over 95% of tobacco sales within China. China represents the largest market for tobacco users in the entire world. Roughly one third of all adults in China are currently smokers. They will now require a license for manufacturers to be able to buy nicotine through China Tobacco (or one of their approved suppliers).
Another concern for the vape industry is that China plans to limit vape exports to other countries based on each country’s vape laws. Since in the US, there is not clear authorization from the FDA to use open-ended systems, shipping of open-ended systems to the US is in jeopardy. According to the Chinese research firm iiMedia Research, “there are more than 170,000 e-cigarette businesses in China…Rules preventing open-system products from being shipped to the United States (because the FDA has not specifically authorized their sale) would shutter many of those manufacturing businesses and put many employees out of work.”
Refillable vape devices (open systems) are not the only vape device at risk of shortages due to this new policy. Disposable vape distributors may also be affected by these changes due to a shortage in licensed suppliers going forward.
Licenses for Exporting Vapes to USA
Factories in China will be able to get licenses for export to the USA. Mi-Pod factories and other vape manufacturers are working with the Chinese government to obtain these licenses.
According to Geoff Habicht, President of Mi-Pod, “We are having calls weekly with our factories about this. It is concerning, but we are confident that our factories being larger will be fine. It is the smaller factories that will get crushed and not able to meet the requirements of the Chinese government.”
This would also wreak havoc on US companies that rely on smaller Chinese manufacturers for vape supplies, products, and services. Since the FDA has not clearly authorized vape products for sale in the US, many vape exports from China may be stopped based on this alone.
The US vape industry is helpless to affect change on this front. This is being implemented by the Chinese government. All we can suggest is stocking up on your favorite vape flavors and devices as well as components for your favorite devices so you can ride out any future shortages.