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Friday, April 12, 2024

Trading Standards Takes Court Action Against Alness Shop Selling Illegal Vapes  

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An Order was granted by Tain Sheriff Court which places legal requirements and restrictions on local nicotine vape seller, Mohammad Shuaab Director trading as, J&M Patterson Ltd, 33-35 High Street, Alness

Highland Council Trading Standards executed a warrant on Shuaab in April 2022. 

This followed intelligence that he was continuing to sell nicotine vape products (NVPs or vapes) that did not comply with product safety and labelling requirements.  

The warrant was granted after Shuaab had been visited and advised by Trading Standards Officers that he must ensure all NVPs purchased were compliant and could legally be sold.

Over 1000 NVPs (or nicotine vapes) in Mr Shuaab’s possession were removed, examined and found to breach the above legislation. 

As a result of the above Order these NVPs will now be sent for destruction.

Supply or possession of NVPs which fail to comply with Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (“TRPR 2016”) constitutes a criminal offence under Regulation 48 which can lead to a conviction of up to 12 months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding £5000 or both.

Nicotine vapour products (NVPs) are highly addictive substance.

Unsafe vapes which lack instructions, warnings and essential information to protect vulnerable consumers are of particular concern and may carry a serious health risk to the unsuspecting user.

Highland Council Trading Standards also have concerns that retailers may be supplying single use vapes that contain high levels of nicotine.

The Order places requirements on a retailer regarding the sale of NVPs (or vapes) to persons under the age of 18 years. 

As a registered business, Mr Shuaab must operate a Challenge 25 Age Verification policy to prevent the sale of vapes to persons under the age of 18 years. 

Failure to operate such a policy is a criminal offence.  

The Order also legally requires Mr Shuaab to prevent the sale of a nicotine vapour product by a person under the age of 18 years without the required written authorisation.

Furthermore, Mr Shuaab is also required to inform The Highland Council of any change of business name or personal name or address for the next 5 years.

Also found in his possession was a sleeve of ‘Richmond Blue’ cigarettes (200 cigarettes) which were seized and submitted to the trademark brand holder for examination. 

The cigarettes were subsequently found to be counterfeit.

The Trade Marks Act 1994 makes it an offence for any person to be involved in the unauthorised use of registered trademarks regarding the distribution of goods. 

Counterfeit cigarettes also often contain very high levels of harmful ingredients and have no duty paid on them.

Offering non-compliant NVPs (or vapes) for supply/sale and being in possession of counterfeit cigarettes constitutes a criminal offence under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 as the person is stating or creating the impression that a product can be sold, when it legally cannot.

Retailers selling NVPs (or vapes) can quickly and easily check if the product they have bought has been registered with the MHRA and therefore can legally be sold by going to https://vape-click.com/

Additionally, retailers wishing to sell tobacco and vapes must by law register at https://www.tobaccoregisterscotland.org/

Members of the public can report any concerns they may have about vape sales to Trading Standards by contacting Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or online at https://www.consumeradvice.scot/ 

If anyone has any information about the sale of counterfeit goods, they can let Trading Standards know anonymously online at The Highland Council website: www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits

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