MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is ramping up its efforts to regulate the vape industry in the Philippines, prioritizing consumer safety of Filipinos, especially the youth.

In collaboration with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the DTI recently seized nearly PHP 25 million worth of illegal vape products in Paranaque City. This demonstrates the Department’s commitment to removing harmful and unregulated products from the market.

To ensure compliance with the Philippine National Standards (PNS), all vape products, both locally-made and imported, must undergo mandatory certification starting 05 June 2024. The PNS shall be used as reference in the inspection, verification, testing and certification of the covered products, to maintain objectivity in the conformity assessment processes, and observe good regulatory practices.

Department Administrative Order (DAO) 22-06 Series of 2022, issued by the DTI on 15 June 2022, established the mandatory product certification for all vapor and nicotine products under Republic Act No. 11900 or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation” Act. Supplemental guidelines are being finalized to ensure comprehensive coverage of this certification mandate.

Meanwhile, product testing is a critical component of the DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) certification schemes. The certification process includes comprehensive testing for various risks associated with vape devices, heated tobacco products (HTP) devices, secondary batteries, and battery chargers. A team of qualified professionals, including chemists, chemical engineers, and electrical/electronic engineers, oversees the testing process.

The DTI-BPS is collaborating with organizations like Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), the Toxicological Nurses Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology; to explore further cooperation in product testing and evaluation.

To identify certified products, locally-made items will have a Philippine Standard (PS) mark, while imports will have Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers.

Despite budgetary constraints the DTI is committed to establishing testing facilities for vape consumables (e-liquids). Proposals for such funding have been included in past and current budget requests.

Furthermore, close collaboration is maintained with the Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) to strengthen enforcement and ensure standardized testing for consumer safety.

Since the enactment of RA No. 11900 in 2022, the DTI has been actively implementing the law. This includes issuing regulations, conducting inspections, and educating consumers and businesses. Under the leadership of DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, through its Consumer Protection Group, the DTI commits to upholding consumer safety and ensuring a well-regulated vape industry through continuous collaboration with stakeholders, rigorous enforcement of regulations, and comprehensive consumer education efforts.

The DTI urges consumers to report violators through the Consumer Care Hotline DTI (1-384) or ♦

Date of release: 15 May 2024