“We’re working to engage a network of alternative carriers to fulfill our orders.”
As you may have heard of by now, soon there will be no major shipping provider left that will deliver vaping products to home addresses in the United States. After the signing of the “vape mail ban” which required the United States Postal Service to stop delivering vaping products to home addresses, FedEx and UPS quickly followed suit.
UPS announced that as of April 5, 2021, it will stop delivering vaping products to home addresses in the United States. Fedex already announced that they would stop handling vaping products as of March 1, 2021, while DHL previously enacted their own ban on shipping vaping products and nicotine.
The “vape mail ban”, which was included in the final version of the federal omnibus spending bill, will become law on March 27, 2021. It requires the United States Postal Service to create its own regulations within 120 days banning U.S Mail delivery of vaping products (both those that do and don’t contain nicotine).
In addition to severely restricting vape mail, the bill introduces a host of other restrictions and rules. Online retailers of nicotine and cannabis vaping products will have to comply with the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, which imposes huge paperwork burdens on small retailers.
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act requires online retailers of nicotine and cannabis vaping products to:
- Obtain the full name, birth date, and residential address of their customers
- Verify the age of their customers using a commercially available database
- Register with the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Register with the tobacco tax administrators of the State and place into which shipments are made
- Send each taxing State’s tax administrators a monthly list of all transactions with customers in their state, including their names and addresses, as well as the brand and quantities of each item sold
- Collect all applicable local and state taxes, and affix any required tax stamps to the products sold
- Use private shipping services that collect an adult signature at the time of delivery.
- Obtain proof-of-age from the person accepting the delivery in the form of a valid, government-issued identification bearing a photograph of the individual
- Maintain records for 5 years of any “delivery interrupted because the carrier or service determines or has reason to believe that the person ordering the delivery is in violation of the (PACT Act)” and provide that information to the ATF or U.S Attorney General upon request.
Sellers who do not register or don’t comply with the rules and regulations of the PACT Act are subject to severe penalties and fines, including prison time. These PACT regulations go into effect in late March, 90 days after being signed into law.
So what does all of this mean for the consumer? Will you be forced to travel to a physical brick and mortar store to buy vaping products?
We had the chance to ask the CEO of Eightvape, George Chang, a few questions about the vape mail ban. Eightvape is one of the largest and most popular online vape stores.
What are your thoughts and reactions to the USPS and major shipping providers banning the shipment of vaping products? Did you see this coming?
George Chang: “Of course EightVape we are always keen to the new laws surrounding vaping, however the short timeline given to prepare for these new changes were somewhat unexpected. We remain diligent to adapt, but also would love to urge vapers to speak out on this themselves to let the world know the negative impacts the Act has.”
How are you planning on getting products out to customers?
George Chang: “We’re working to engage a network of alternative carriers to fulfill our orders. Our goal is to continue providing fast, affordable delivery of all vape products, but we recognize that customers in remote areas may have greater difficulty receiving vape mail in the future.”
What is the future of online vaping retail going to look like for EightVape?
George Chang: “At EightVape, we have assembled a special shipping team led by (myself) the CEO to transition us to the future of retail shipping, fully compliant with PACT Act (“the Act”). This is now our #1 priority company-wide. While we do not know everything yet, we can update you that we are in the process of assembling and engaging a network of regional and local carriers to provide nationwide coverage with ground shipping. So far, we are making positive progress in our biggest markets and this process will continue.”
Can consumers expect a large increase in shipping costs?
George Chang: “We are seeing pricing that is competitive with the three (3) major carriers in USPS, UPS, FedEx, so, at this point, currently we do not expect any major increases in shipping costs. This is good news for everyone. For some states that do not currently require adult verification for delivery, those customers may see an increase in shipping costs as adult verification requirements are rolled out nationwide.”
What are your thoughts on the PACT Act and its lengthy documentation requirements?
George Chang: “We fully support vaping responsibility and proactively safeguarding against youth vaping. That being said, our main concern is that the Act provides very little time for the industry to comply with these new requirements. Fortunately, we are a larger company and will be able to comply in a timely way, but for the smaller businesses in the industry there will be some legitimate challenges.”
We also received a statement from Brian Sklena, the VP of Sales & Marketing for Vapor4Life, who said:
“We are currently working on finding carriers in the US other than USPS, Fedex and UPS. We are confident that we will be able to ship still, but shipping costs will be going up. We are still working on this and do not have any final plans in place.”
While many, including the team here at Versed Vaper, were worried that the vape mail ban could be the end of online vape stores, it appears that this thankfully isn’t the case. Online retailers like Eightvape and Vapor4life are clearly prepared and are looking into alternate shipping options to ensure that consumers can continue to purchase their vaping products online.
Interestingly, Eightvape states that they “do not expect any major increases in shipping costs” which is great news for consumers.
While the major shipping companies will not be delivering vaping products, it looks like vape mail isn’t over just yet.