By Othel V. Campos
The Department of Trade and Industry asked electronic commerce platforms operating in the country to comply with the law following a spike in cases of online merchants selling prohibited items including vape products.
It said that in a dialog with online platforms, Shopee Philippines Inc. took swift action and immediately implemented measures to strengthen its monitoring and policing of prohibited vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products sold on their platform.
The agency said that as of March 2, 2023, a day after the dialog, Shopee reported it removed over 1 million prohibited vape listings from the platform.
“We will also continue to maintain a direct line with the DTI-CPG as we work together on this matter moving forward. Rest assured that our ongoing measures will continue to help our sellers comply with their obligations under the Vape Law,” Shopee said, assuring the DTI of their continued support and cooperation.
The DTI’s Consumer Protection Group said in Joint Administrative Order No. 22-01, all digital platforms including social media marketplaces such as Facebook/Meta, Instagram, Viber, Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, among others should observe existing laws, rules and regulations that apply to physical stores.
“We appeal to all online marketplaces to police their sellers and ensure that appropriate age verification mechanisms and point of sale signages are in place, and that all listed products bear the required graphic health warnings prescribed by Republic Act 11900,” said DTI Undersecretary and CPG head Ruth Castelo.
The DTI said it would continue its intensified monitoring and enforcement activities to safeguard consumers and ensure that businesses are compliant with the law.