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Over the last couple of years, vaping has become a household term. Like alcohol and tobacco, vape products have health risks associated with them and are meant to be enjoyed responsibly. These products are a hot topic in the news, especially with their controversial popularity amongst underage Canadians. Still, vape products can be legally used by adults and many people wonder if they’re allowed to leave or enter the country with them. If you have questions about importing vaping products into Canada, we’ve got all the answers here.
What is vaping?
According to the Government of Canada website, vaping products refer to both the device and the liquid. The device is usually called a vape, or sometimes e-cigarette, vape pen, or vaporizer. The liquid is often called e-juice, vape juice or e-liquid. Typically, the device is made up of a battery and a heating element, that turns the e-juice into an aerosol, so the user can inhale it through a mouthpiece.
Many vape users enjoy the products as an alternative to cigarettes, though some e-juices can actually contain more nicotine than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Interestingly, Health Canada acknowledges the use of vaping as a method of reducing or quitting smoking. Vape products have far fewer chemicals and carcinogens than cigarettes do, making them a reasonable alternative to smoking tobacco products. However, Health Canada warns of several vaping health risks. It has also released a statement on the use of vape products in teenage communities, urging them to consider the consequences of vaping. The sale of vape products to people under 18 is prohibited, but that does little to keep them out of their hands. You can read more about this issue and the official statement at the Government of Canada website.
Whether you’re for or against vaping, it looks like it’s here to stay. The Canadian Government is moving forward with different laws and bills regarding these products. Let’s take a look at the import laws.
Importing Vaping Products Into Canada
A few years after vape products emerged on the Canadian market, many laws and regulations were up in the air. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the vape industry in Canada. In May of 2018, the TVPA (Tobacco and Vaping Products Act) was enacted. With this, the Canadian Government solidified their laws and positions on importing vaping products into Canada. This included concrete laws on what is and what isn’t allowed at the border.
You can import vaping products for personal use
Importing vaping products into Canada for personal use is allowed. This means you can bring it over the border by car, plane, train or whatever other method you might be using to cross the border. If you’re bringing vape products by plane, you still have to respect the CATSA regulations. Like any liquid, e-juice is permitted in quantities of 100 ml or less. Usually, vaping devices can only be stored in your carry-on with the battery removed. Some airlines have different policies on vaping devices, so always check with them for more information.
You’ll have limits while ordering vape products that make health claims
Nicotine products with health claims on their packaging are regulated by the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and will need authorization by the FDA to be commercially imported into Canada. This means that products can’t claim to have any health benefits, even as a “natural” health product. Allowed products are referred to by Health Canada as “not Marketed for a Therapeutic Use”. The good news it that pretty much any vape products you’ll find in Canada counts as “not marketed for therapeutic use”, and ordering e-juice from the U.S. to Canada likely wouldn’t cause a problem either.
However, if you’re returning from or trying to order a product from another country, keep your eyes peeled for labels that don’t meet Canada’s standards. Under the TVPA, these kinds of products count as drugs and need a Drug Establishment License and a corresponding Drug Identification Number. If you try to import a vape product with a health claim, your import will be examined more closely. You can only import a “reasonable amount”, which is decided by the CBSA, for a 90-day supply.
You can’t import vape juice that contains more than 66 mg/g of nicotine
Under the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations (CCCR), products containing over 66 mg/g of nicotine meet the “very toxic” classification. Vape products considered “very toxic” can’t be manufactured, advertised, sold or imported into Canada.
You can’t import vape juice that doesn’t meet certain packaging standards
Liquids that contain between 10 mg/g and 66 mg/g of nicotine fall under the classification of “toxic”. These products must come in containers that meet the requirements outlined by the CCCR. These include passing a leakage test and a child proof lid. You can read more about the CCCR and other regulations on the Government of Canada website.
The laws regarding vape products are always changing. Currently, there is a discussion on the ethics of producing flavours that could appeal to underage Canadians. So we might soon see a ban on the production of those funky flavours. Otherwise, vaping products have secured their popularity in the Canadian market and we expect them to be imported more in the future. Do you still have questions about Importing vaping products into Canada? Get in touch with us! We have a team of expert customs brokers who’d be happy to answer your questions.