Shipping company DHL is temporarily stopping all deliveries of nicotine products to individuals. The reason: new guidelines from the Swedish Public Health Agency and uncertainty about who should guarantee that the products are delivered to a person over the age of 18.
In the middle of the holiday season and Black Friday campaigns, the freight company DHL announced that it is stopping deliveries of all tobacco and nicotine products in Sweden. This means that many people buying e-liquid, nicotine pouches or snus will have to choose other shipping options. This is due to uncertainty about how to ensure that age checks are carried out safely during deliveries.
"We don't want to put our agents in a situation where they risk handing out goods that require an 18-year age limit. This applies even if it is not our or our agents' task to check ID at the time of purchase, but that of the seller. Right now, we have no way of ensuring the age of the person collecting a parcel. What we can do is ensure that it is the same person who bought the parcel who collects it" says Mikael Stange, Head of Communications at DHL eCommerce Solutions.
High requirements for age checks
According to the law on new nicotine products Since 1 August, it has been illegal to sell nicotine pouches (also known as white snus) to people under 18 years of age. It has long been illegal to sell other nicotine products to minors - since 1997 for snus and cigarettes and 2018 for e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids. However, it is only now that the Swedish Public Health Agency is including suppliers in its guidelines.
'In the case of online sales, the seller shall or to ensure that the age requirement is met. Even in the case of online sales, there must be procedures to ensure that the 18-year age limit is met both at the time of purchase and at the time of delivery." Writes Public health authorities.
At the same time, the FHM stresses that the seller "cannot transfer a large part of his obligations under the self-monitoring programme to another person".
Unclear how the 18-year age limit is guaranteed
However, the guidelines, which are primarily aimed at local authority inspectors, have caused headaches, not least for the transport company DHL. Even though the law states that the seller is responsible for carrying out the age check and cannot delegate it to anyone else, the seller must also ensure that the delivery is "satisfactory".
Looking at technical solutions
For DHL, it is therefore a matter of ensuring that the person who paid for the goods actually collects the parcel. And this is something that is not done automatically at present. This week, DHL therefore sent out a message to its customers about an immediate halt to deliveries of tobacco and nicotine products.
"Tobacco products are not a major part of our business. But we must be able to guarantee our partners, customers and agents that statutory age checks work all the way from sale to delivery. Right now, we are looking at technical solutions to meet current laws and regulations" says Mikael Stange
Offers other shipping
DHL does not want to say how long the stop will be. But it could be one to two weeks or more.
At present, most vejp shoppers in Sweden have several different options for shipping. Other suppliers now have options for age checks for both purchase and delivery, and according to Vejpkollen's experience, no shop is completely dependent on DHL for its deliveries to customers.