Applying to be a Specialist Vape Retailer

In order to become a specialist vape retailer (SVR) you need to apply to the Vaping Regulatory Authority.

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In order to become a specialist vape retailer (SVR) you need to apply to the Vaping Regulatory Authority. In this process you will also need to apply to have your store or stores be an approved vaping premise (AVP) and if you also have a website for that to be an approved internet site.

Some helpful definitions for you in this process:

  • Specialist vape retailer (SVR) means a person who is approved by the Director-General as a specialist vape retailer under section 20P of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the SERPA).
  • Approved vaping premise (AVP) means the premises to which a person’s approval as a specialist vape retailer applies.
  • Approved internet site (AIS) means the website to which a person’s approval as a specialist vape retailer applies.

Who can apply to be a specialist vape retailer?

If you’re currently a general retailer that sells vaping products and wants to expand your business or you’re intending to set up a new business, then you need to have at least one fixed physical premises or store that is at least 300 metres away from the nearest school or marae, and your store will need to have at least 70 percent of its total sales from vaping products.

Importers, manufacturers and distributors cannot apply to be an SVR if they do not sell vaping products to the public at retail. However, the retailers they sell products to may apply to be an SVR. If you are an importer, manufacturer or distributor who also sells to the public at retail then you can apply to be an SVR as well. SVRs are the ones that own the vaping products in their retail store and sell them to the public.

An online-only business (ie, without a physical store) cannot be a specialist vape retailer as they do not have physical retail premises.

The SVR application process

The normal process to apply to be an SVR is:

  • If you don’t already have one, sign up to a My Health Account by selecting ‘Log In’ on the Health Advisory and Regulatory Platform (HARP) portal.
  • Once you have a My Health Account, register for access to HARP by submitting a Registration in the portal after you’ve signed in.
  • Once your access to HARP is approved you need to create and submit both a specialist vape retailer application and individual approved vaping premises applications for each premises you wish to operate as an SVR from.
  • If you also have a website you intend to sell through then you need to complete an application for that site to become an approved internet site.

Before you start an application for any approved premises you will need to have to hand:

  1. Photos of the outside of your premises including the main entrance
  2. Photos of the inside of your premises from the main entrance
  3. Photos of all doors into and out of the premises
  4. Photos of all your points of sale.

Assessment fees apply for each application you make, and you will have the option to pay by debit/credit card or request an invoice during the application process. Applications will only be processed once the applicable fees have been paid.

The fees are:

  1. Specialist vape retailer (SVR) $1600 plus GST (one-off fee)
  2. Approved vaping premise (AVP) $600 plus GST (one-off fee per premise)
  3. Approved internet site (AIS) $600 plus GST (one-off fee per website).

Once payment has been received, your application will be assessed. You can check the progress of your applications in HARP.

To help you there are guides available on how to apply through HARP:

Access HARP and select “Log in” - from there you can register or log in to make your application.

HARP Users - People with more than one business or businesses with more than one person

If you have more than one business or your business has more than one person, you only need one HARP login per person.  Each person’s account can be associated with more than one business provided they are authorised to act for each business.

Each person should create their own login from the HARP home page by clicking ‘Log In’ and completing the account creation process.

Each person should then log in and complete a Registration (ACCREG) for each business they are responsible for. They must use the same email address and user details each time or HARP may create duplicate records and they may not then be able to see all of their businesses when they try to lodge applications or product notifications.

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