Through a new legislative project, the aim is to amend Law No. 201/2016 regarding the establishment of conditions for the manufacturing, presentation, and sale of tobacco and related products, as well as Law No. 349/2002 for the prevention and combat of the effects of tobacco product consumption.
Regarding Law No. 201/2016, the legislative project will introduce several new definitions, specifically related to electronic devices for heating tobacco and electronic cigarettes, as follows:
- Electronic tobacco heating device – a device used for heated tobacco products that do not involve combustion;
- Electronic cigarette – a product that can be used for the consumption of vapors containing nicotine or not, through a mouthpiece or any component of this product, including a cartridge, a reservoir, and a cartridge-free or reservoir-free device. Electronic cigarettes can be disposable or refillable through a refill bottle or reservoir or can be recharged with disposable cartridges.
Under the same legislative project, Law No. 349/2002 will introduce a prohibition on the sale of all categories of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, refill bottles for electronic cigarettes, and electronic tobacco heating devices through vending machines.
Furthermore, the sale of all categories of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, refill bottles for electronic cigarettes, and electronic tobacco heating devices to individuals under the age of 18 will be prohibited.
Additionally, the sale of the aforementioned products will not be allowed through easybox/locker-type devices. According to the legislative project, easybox/locker devices are defined as secure boxes/spaces intended for the storage of postal parcels to be collected by recipients based on codes/passwords provided through electronic communication means or at the time of cash-on-delivery payment at the respective device.
In the event that these products are sold or delivered through postal and courier services, the parcel must prominently display the message, “ATTENTION! THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND/OR NICOTINE-CONTAINING PRODUCTS.” Furthermore, the courier company representative or postal service delivering the package will have the obligation to verify the recipient’s identification and age. In practice, this verification will be carried out by comparing the parcel’s information with that on the recipient’s ID presented at the time of delivery.
When these details do not match, the parcel will be returned to the sending merchant, and the recipient will be refunded the value of the products paid in advance, minus the transportation cost.
Lastly, according to the legislative project, educational institutions will be obligated to adopt corrective measures through internal regulations to be applied to students in cases of non-compliance with provisions regarding the sale, possession, and use of all categories of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, refill bottles for electronic cigarettes, and electronic tobacco heating devices within their premises.
We would like to draw attention to the fact that, according to the current form of the legislative project, non-compliance by legal entities with certain provisions regarding the sale or prohibition of the mentioned products may result in a fine of 10,000 lei and an additional penalty of suspending activities for a period of 30 days for the first offense.
In the case of a repeated offense under Law No. 349/2002, the fine will amount to 20,000 lei, and the supplementary penalty will entail the closure of the establishment.
It should be noted that the legislative project is not yet in effect, and additional steps in the legislative process, including passage through Parliament, presidential promulgation, and publication in the Official Gazette, are necessary.
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Alexandra Chiorescu – Attorney at Law