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Legality of Electronic Cigarettes in Russia: Analysis of Laws and Official Explanations of the Russian Federation Government
Legality of Electronic Cigarettes in Russia: Analysis of Laws and Official Explanations of the Russian Federation Government

The main obstacles for the manufacturers and distributors willing to export and sale electronic cigarettes may include restrictions associated with Russian tobacco products regulations. Therefore, in order to clarify the status of eCigs, a formal request was submitted via the website of the Parliament of the Russian Federation.

The official reply from the Department of Health at the Russian Ministry of Health has stated that the electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products and therefore the restrictions on their sale and consumption do not apply.

Thus, the electronic cigarettes do not fall under the regulatory act «On the Protection of Public Health from Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and the Consequences of Tobacco Use».

Electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products

"According to Article 2 of the Federal Law dated 22.12.2008 No 268-FZ On Technical Regulations on Tobacco Products, the tobacco products are (terminology that applies to the terms of the Federal Law dd. 23.02.2013 No 5-FZ) products that are fully or partially made of the leaf tobacco as a raw material and are manufactured in such a way to be used for smoking, sucking, chewing or snuffing.

Referring to the questions raised in the request on the possibility of smoking electronic cigarettes in places listed in Article 12 of the Federal Law dated 23.02.2013 No 15-FZ, as well as on their production, wholesale and retail trade, we inform you that according to the experts of the Legal Department at the Russian Ministry of Health, electronic cigarettes shall not be regarded as tobacco products and shall be regulated by Article 12 of the Federal Law dated 23.02.2013 No 15-FZ".

Based on this response, as well as taking into account Russian Federation legislation, let us consider the possibilities of entrepreneurs on the electronic cigarette market in Russia.

No 1 Product certification procedure and import issues

Electronic cigarettes do not require medical certification and are not subject to sanitary and epidemiological expertise.

"An electronic cigarette and its accessories (removable cartridges, cartridge refill, steam generators (atomizers) and batteries) are included in the list of products that ARE NOT SUBJECT TO SANITARY AND EPIDEMIOLOGICAL EXPERTISE AND THEREFORE A SANITARY-EPIDEMIOLOGICAL CONCLUSION IS NOT ISSUED."

Official explanation of the Health Ministry of Russia

The Russian Ministry of Health does not regard electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.

Unlike tobacco products, eCigs are not subject to the special rules of pricing, additional import duties and excise taxations.

No 2. Distribution regulations

Electronic cigarettes can be sold subject to paragraph "г" of Part 1 of Article 16 of the Federal Law dated 23.02.2013 No 15-FZ. It means – without advertising.

"Possibility of production and turnover of electronic cigarettes should be evaluated considering the legal requirements of paragraph " г" of Part 1 of Article 16 of the Federal Law dated 23.02.2013 No 15-FZ, which prohibit the use and imitation of tobacco products in the manufacture of other types of products that are not tobacco products, in case of wholesale and retail trade of such goods."

According to this paragraph, there are no restrictions on sale and production of eCigs unless they imitate tobacco products (product appearance and packaging). In this case, not only their advertising, but also their  use and sale are prohibited.

Given that 95% of all eCigs are fundamentally different from tobacco products – e-cigarettes can be freely produced and sold in the Russian Federation.

 

No 3. Public regulations and vaping policies

Electronic cigarettes are permitted to be used in public places, bars and restaurants.

“The information provided suggests that an electronic cigarette is not a tobacco product (assuming that it does not contain tobacco). This means that the prohibition of smoking in premises designed to provide catering services should not apply to the e-cigarettes.

The experts of the Ministry of Health share this opinion: electronic cigarettes shall not be regarded as tobacco products and shall not fall under the regulation of Art. 12 of the Federal Law No 15-FZ (Letter dated 29.04.2013 No 24-4-7000984."

Official explanation of the Health Ministry of Russia

The only restriction that common vaper should take into consideration may be public opinion and decencies.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

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