Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Swedish customs stops import of e-liquid

This morning my friend Grizewald made me aware of this article in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet: http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/tullen-stoppar-e-cigaretter_8888896.svd (in Swedish)
This is bad news for Swedish vapers. It seems like Swedish authorities are determined to go to war against e-cigarettes and vaping. For the second time since October Swedish customs has stopped the import of e-liquid (the article confuses the terms a bit using e-cigarettes some places, but I assume this is about shipments containing e-liquid with nicotine). In October they stopped it saying this is a pharmaceutical product that requires a permit. The importer, a Malmö-based company called Trade Team, complained and through a court decision they got the seizure repealed.

"It seems that the Swedes are raising the stakes in their war on e-cigs. Quite a few vendors have started selling juice with nicotine after a court decision in October stopped the medicines regulator from confiscating a shipment of juice. The original court decision did not take a position either for or against the regulator, it merely put their decision on hold.", sais Grizewald (who lives in Stockholm, Sweden by the way).

This time they are stopping the shipment claiming they don't know what the e-liquid contains. They say they are administratively placing it into care... whatever that means? Their lawyer, Anna Björklund, say they expect an appeal from the growing industry. The decision is made pending a decision from a court in Uppsala, whether the e-liquid should be classified as medicinal product like nicotine gum and patches which requires a permit to sell. She says that until this is decided in court they will act with whatever means available to protect the public health.

"Somehow, I can't imagine the Customs service acting purely on their own initiative in this, so it would appear that the politicians have told them to take the gloves off when it comes to this fight.", Griz comments.

So it seems like the situation in Sweden is worse than here in Norway. What worries me the most is that they claim to do this in the interest of public health. I mean, if that was their real intention, with reference to my post yesterday, they should do the complete opposite, and encourage the use of e-cigarettes. So one has got to ask again: What is their real motivation for this? And who is the motivator(s)?

One last quote from Grizewald, which I couldn't agree more with:


  1. The medicines regulator here in Sweden is firmly in the hand of the large and influential Swedish pharma industry. Given the profits that McNeil AB make from sales of NRT products like Nicorette gum, the money trail in this case is fairly easy to follow.

  2. You ask really who are the motivators?
    It's for sure the lobby of the big tobaccos and the big pharmas... I'm sure, they spent a lot of money to the politicians.... Here in Germany is it still in between legal and illegal... Normally the normal cigarettes must be sold piece by piece in the pharmacy and vaping should be free... we will see, what the EU Parlament decides today...

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