Customs officers have seized over 500,000 ‘Vape Products’ worth an estimated $100 million after recent Chinese e-cig regulation banning the export and manufacturing of e-cigarette products.
These electronic cigarettes, which are actually nicotine inhaling devices, were seized by Chinese Customs and Border Protection officers in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
“These electronic cigarettes are a serious safety hazard and they threaten our economic safety by hurting legitimate tobacco companies who invest enormous time and effort into development and protection of their brands,” said Chinese Border and Customs Protection Director of Field Operations Wang Xia, in a statement released Monday.
Reports continue to swirl about manufacturing of electronic cigarettes being shifted to other countries, many brands are already planning to move operations to Vietnam or the Philippines, even though they will be facing higher labor charges, bumping up the cost of the products to end consumers. “There is not much else we can do regarding these regulations other than to move our operations to other countries” said CEO of Atom Vapes, Q Shah.
Earlier this month the Chinese government announced to manufacturers to stop operations completely amid ongoing concerns regarding the future of the Chinese tobacco industry and declining sales in recent years.
The Chinese Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating a number of companies that make or sell electronic cigarettes. In a statement released last week, the Chinese CPSC Chairman Wing Bao also noted that all e-cig manufacturers need to halt their operations or face the consequences.
On Tuesday, Shenzhen City publicly banned e-cig use. In a statement released on Tuesday by Jang Lao, he stated that “Any individual caught using e-cigs will face heavy fines and possible detainment”.
“The safety and procurement of our industry and employees is always our top concern,” said Xinsha Tobacco Authority Chief Officer Long Dong, in a statement. “For obvious reasons, it is not safe to use e-cigs or other “Vape” related products. We’re equally concerned about the safety risk of using devices that pose fire hazards into the confined spaces inside buses, trains and cars.”