The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Consumer Protection Group (CPG) during the meeting on 01 March 2023, urges all e-commerce platforms operating in the country to comply with the law following the increase in the number of online merchants selling prohibited items.
In response to the recently held dialogue with the online platforms, Shopee Philippines Inc. has taken swift action and immediately implemented ongoing measures to strengthen its monitoring and policing of prohibited vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products being advertised and sold on their platform. As of March 2, 2023, the day after the dialogue, Shopee reported that they have already removed over one (1) million prohibited Vape listings from their platform.
A representative from Shopee Public Affairs Office assures the DTI of their continued support and cooperation: “We will also continue to maintain a direct line with the DTI-CPG as we work together on this matter moving forward. Rest assured that our ongoing measures will continue to help our sellers comply with their obligations under the Vape law.”
“We appeal to all online marketplaces to police their sellers and ensure that appropriate age verification mechanisms and point of sale signages are in place, and that all listed products bear the required graphic health warnings prescribed by Republic Act 11900,” said DTI-CPG Undersecretary, Atty. Ruth B. Castelo
Undersecretary Castelo further reiterated the mandatory compliance with Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 22-01, reminding all digital platforms including social media marketplaces such as Facebook/Meta, Instagram, Viber, Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, among others, that existing laws, rules, and regulations that apply to physical stores likewise apply to online stores.
The DTI will continue its intensified monitoring and enforcement activities to safeguard consumers and ensure that businesses are compliant with the law. The DTI expects the cooperation of marketplaces and e-commerce platforms to take down listings of prohibited vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products packaged, labeled, marketed or presented with flavor descriptors that are unduly appealing to the youth such as fruit, candy brand, dessert, cartoon character.
Consumers are enjoined to report merchants that sell prohibited goods and uncertified items through One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or email, ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph.*
Date of release: 06 March 2023