Vapes Become Prohibited Imports in 2024

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has issued Australian Customs Notice No. 2023/51 announcing that from 01 January 2024, disposable vapes will be prohibited imports. To read the notice (in PDF) click on this link: New Import Control on Vaping Goods. Using a phased approach, all vaping goods will be prohibited under new regulation 5A of the Prohibited Imports Regulations. From 01 March 2024, all other vaping goods will become prohibited imports.

Vaping Goods
Vaping goods are defined in regulation 5A to include vapes, vape substances and vape accessories. All nicotine in a solution is controlled regardless of whether it is intended for vaping.

Vapes are devices (whether filled with a vape substance or not) that generate or release, or are designed or intended to generate or release, using a heating element and by electronic means, an aerosol, vapour or mist for direct inhalation by its user.

Back in October 2021, regulations were introduced that all nicotine for human use, including vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, were declared to be “prescription only medicines,” contained within Schedule 4 of The Poisons Standard and were regulated at the border by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The ABF were then authorised to stop imports and destroy products if they did not see a valid script.

Under the new control, Australian patients will not be able to import vaping products from overseas regardless of whether they have a prescription. Only importers who hold both a license to be an importer of vaping goods, and a permit for vaping goods, issued by the Office of Drug Control will be able to import vaping goods.

Imports Through the Post
From 01 January 2024, imports of disposable vapes through the post (mail) will be prohibited absolutely. From 01 March 2024, imports of all vaping goods through the post will be prohibited absolutely.

An ‘absolute prohibition’ for goods in the post means that goods that arrive via the post are prohibited imports even if the importer has an import permit. Vaping goods that arrive via post after the commencement of the import control will be seized as prohibited imports.

The Customs Notice outlines certain exemptions for travellers. Those who arrive in Australia at an airport or seaport with vaping goods in their accompanied baggage will be able to retain their vaping goods as long as the goods are for use in connection with the treatment of the traveller, or of another traveller under their care.

Also see our article: New Customs Regulations on Drugs.

For information about import regulations and restrictions, contact us here at Colless Young. As Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders, we offer you correct, professional advice on your import and export cargo, by air or sea. We are based in Brisbane and handle your shipping and transport needs, including Customs clearance & quarantine procedures, warehousing and trucking – at all Australian ports and airports.