Regulation of vaping, herbal smoking and smokeless tobacco products

This section provides information about how the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 regulates vaping, herbal smoking and smokeless tobacco products in New Zealand and what that means for retailers, manufacturers and importers of vape products.

Information for:

Latest Updates

27 January 2023 - annual return HARP performance issues

A large number of annual returns are currently being submitted and this is causing performance issues with HARP. If you encounter problems with  your return, please save your return and try submitting it again next week when backlogs should have been cleared. The deadline of 31 January for submitting annual returns will be extended until HARP performance issues have been resolved.

26 January 2023

HARP Annual Returns – Some users are experiencing issues with uploading their annual returns so in the first instance please check the following:

  • You are using the correct template not the product notification template or your own format
  • In column E - the PG:VG is in the correct format. If some of your data keeps changing to the wrong format then delete the data and leave this column blank for that product. Make sure you do not delete the column, though
  • In columns H & J - check there is no $ symbol in the cells below row 1 – just have the amount as a number

11 January 2023 New record keeping requirements

Under the new provisions of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act, manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and retailers of regulated products (smoked tobacco, vaping, herbal smoking and smokeless tobacco products) are responsible for keeping accurate records relating to all of their regulated products.

If you are a retailer please read: Information for or about Specialist Vape Retailers

If you are a manufacturer, importer or exporter then please read: Information for manufacturers and importers (notifiers)

9 January 2023 What the Smokefree Environments & Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Act 2022 means for retailers

The key changes are that any retailer who sells a notifiable product (vaping, herbal smoking or smokeless tobacco product) needs to notify the Ministry of Health and be registered. The notification is annual and a fee is to be paid. More details on how you do this will be available later in the year after the Regulations are approved but essentially by 1 October 2023 you need to have notified and from 2026 you will also need to start providing an annual sales return on what you sold for the previous year. Sign up to the newsletter to keep informed.

9 January 2023 What the Smokefree Environments & Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Act 2022 means for notifiers

Herbal smoking products are now added to the list of notifiable products. You need to start notifying these products from 1 October 2023.

20 December 2022 Changes to assessments for Approved Vaping Premises

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill passed on Tuesday 13 December 2022 and new provisions come into effect from 1 January 2023. 

When assessing applications for Approved Vaping Premises (AVP), the Vaping Regulatory Authority (VRA) will now also be required to specifically consider whether the retail premises specified by the Specialist Vape Retailer (SVR) in their application are a suitable place from which to operate an AVP. The new provision says the VRA must not give approval unless satisfied that the retail premises are appropriate premises from which to operate. 

16 December 2022 Notifiable Products – products that are no longer notified

Notifiable products must not be sold in New Zealand if their notification has been withdrawn, suspended or cancelled. If a notification expires, the product notifier must stop selling it immediately, but provided there are no safety concerns with the product, retailers can continue to sell-through their existing stock for up to three months. 

Refer to Notifiable Products – products that are no longer notified for further information.

Adverse Reactions

To help monitor vaping safety in New Zealand, anyone who suspects that a vaping product has caused harm should report it to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre.

Consumers - Vaping Facts

The Vaping Facts website provides New Zealand consumers with information about vaping. 

Make a complaint

If your complaint is about vape sales to under 18s or vaping in a workplace then contact your local Public Health Service

If you have a complaint about a vaping product, vaping substance or vaping device then you can let the Vaping Regulatory Authority (VRA) know through the complaints form in the HARP portal

Complaints relating to an adverse reaction to a vaping product should be reported to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre


The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 (the Amendment Act) commenced on 11 November 2020. The Amendment Act amended the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and renamed it the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act).

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