Consumers who order their vaping products online may soon be forced to go into their local brick and mortar shop to make their purchase.
Following the signing of the “vape mail ban” last month which required the United States Postal Service to stop delivering vaping products to home addresses, UPS has joined FedEx in announcing that it too will no longer deliver vaping products.
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.
With no major shipping service willing to deliver vaping products to home addresses, online vaping retailers will soon be left in an awkward position if they can’t find a viable, alternative shipping solution. And without the ability to purchase vaping products online, consumers will be forced to travel outside of their homes in the midst of a pandemic in order to access the life saving products that they need. No matter how you spin it, that just doesn’t seem right.
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.
We will have to wait and see how online retailers react to this wave of vape mail bans by major shipping services. It’s possible that some may begin to deliver their own products in-state, and use smaller private shipping services for out of state customers. No matter how it plays out, vape mail will never be the same and even if it survives, it’s going to get a lot more expensive to receive your vaping products at home.