Australia Today

Vape Seller Has ‘No Intention of Stopping’ Shipments To Australia, Despite Ban

The New Zealand-based seller issued a notice to its Australian customers that shipments will continue regardless of the government's vape reform.
Adele Luamanuvae
Sydney, AU
Disposable Vapes in Shop Purchase
Despite entering stage two of the government's nationwide vape crackdown, certain international online sellers aren't halting sales for Australian customers. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

The government has entered the second stage of its nationwide vape crackdown with the ban of personal importation of all non-therapeutic vapes.

The ban came into affect on March 1, ahead of the final stage of the crackdown to minimise the advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic vapes. This stage will legislate bans on shops selling vapes, and limit vaping to therapeutic products prescribed by doctors only available at pharmacies.


According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, importers of vapes must now have an import license and permit from the Office of Drug Control and must provide pre-market notifications declaring the product complies with TGA requirements.

Despite this, some international importers particularly from New Zealand are not dissuaded by the Australian government’s vape reform.

New Zealand-based online vape seller Vapoureyes NZ addressed its Australian customers on its website with a notice that states, “If you don’t get your order in before the deadline, understand this: we have no intention of stopping just because [of] one twat in Canberra”, seemingly referring to Federal Health Minister Mark Butler.

“Even once the March 1 deadline passes, we will continue shipping orders worldwide, including to Australia,” the notice read.

“If the Australian Border Force want to waste their time attempting to stop you from staying off the darts instead of trying to catch heroin, cocaine, ice, and the dozens of other hard drugs pouring through the Australian border … Good luck to them.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that regulations on the importation of prohibited goods into Australia applies regardless of where the product comes from.

“This includes New Zealand,” they said.


“The ABF and TGA are working closely together to stop illegal vapes from entering the country and are taking escalated enforcement action as appropriate, such as issuing infringement notices or taking court action,“

“The TGA is also taking action against websites based overseas that are advertising to Australians.”

Mark Butler told Guardian Australia that the TGA had seized more than 360,000 vapes since stage one of the vape crackdown, which launched on January 1, totalling to almost $11 million worth of product.

“I’ve wanted to be really honest with people that we’re not going to be able to stop every single vape coming into the country, in the same way we’re not stopping every bit of cocaine or other illicit drug,” he said.

“But what we’re dealing with here is a situation where these things have been flooding in and being sold to kids through vape stores – nine out of ten which have been established within walking distance of schools. That’s no accident, they’re doing that because that is their target market. So, what we’ve really got to do is just choke off that supply.”

Professor Becky Freeman, a tobacco control expert at the University of Sydney, said these responses from importers are to be expected from other sellers and that vape sellers changed their messaging to pursue a certain agenda.

“They like to continuously remind us how they follow the letter of the law, that they’re responsible, that they intend to do the right thing and on the side of good helping people to quit – and then they don’t respect the laws of the countries that they want to sell their products in.”

Butler warned some vaping and tobacco companies would try “every trick in the book” to get around Australia’s vaping reforms.

Adele is the Junior Writer & Producer for VICE AU/NZ. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter here.

See more from Australia Today on and on TikTok.