Tobacco Products Directive Information

The TPD is an EU directive that has been passed into UK law. It took effect on 20th May 2016, although there is a transitional period of 12 months (see ‘key dates’ below). The vaping industry couldn’t avoid regulation forever and nor should it. Consumers should be protected from bad suppliers and bad products.

Key points of the TPD

    • The maximum e liquid bottle size is 10ml.
    • The maximum amount of nicotine in any liquid is 2%/20mg.
    • Every single variant of e liquid and device capable of vapourising e liquid must be tested and the MHRA must be notified of each product and its test results six months before it can be sold.
    • The maximum e liquid capacity of tanks/clearomisers is 2ml.
    • Tanks/clearomisers must be ‘leakproof at the point of refilling’.
    • Cross-border EU sales can only be conducted if a retailer registers with both their home country and the country they export to.

Key Dates

20th November 2016

Retailers have six months to clear their shelves of non-compliant products. New non-compliant stock cannot be manufactured, purchased or sold.

20th May 2017

It is now illegal to sell any non-compliant product. Only products tested and MHRA notified six months earlier can be sold.

Effects on each product type

E Liquid

E liquid will only be available in 10ml bottles, at a maximum strength of 20mg. E liquid bottles must have a childproof cap – which all responsible manufacturers already use.

Tanks and Clearomisers

As with e liquids, all tanks and clearomisers must be tested and the MHRA must be notified six months before they can be sold. Only tanks with a capacity of 2ml and below will be available. Tanks must also be ‘leakproof at the point of refilling’ and deliver a consistent dose of nicotine. New tanks designed to fill via a small hole that the nozzle of an e liquid bottle fits snugly into should be fine.  

Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerine

Much like flavourings, PG and VG are multi-purpose, aren’t vaped alone and aren’t really addressed by the TPD. 


Nicotine is now sold in 18mg TPD compliant 10ml Nicotine shots. The sale of 72mg Nicotine directly to customers rather than businesses is now illegal.