Upcoming: Vape Business Award TBC
Home News Durham shop ordered to close over seizure of £16,000 worth of illegal vapes

Durham shop ordered to close over seizure of £16,000 worth of illegal vapes

April 27, 2024

Photo: iStock

A County Durham shop has been ordered to close following the discovery of more than 1,500 illegal vapes worth in excess of £16,000.

Easi-Vape in Bishop Auckland has been told to shut for two months by a court after the council was granted a closure order.

The action followed a third incident of illegal vapes being found at the premises since October 2021.

“We know the overwhelming majority of traders in County Durham are law-abiding but in this case products were found which breached regulations on tank size and that is why we took the matter to court,” Gary Carr, strategic regulation manager at the council, said.

“We hope the fact Easi-Vape has been ordered to close for two months will serve as a warning to any shops tempted to trade in illegal products.”

Newton Aycliffe magistrates heard the owner of the business, on Newgate Street, had been advised of the legal requirements relating to vapes in October 2021. This followed a test purchase from the premises by council officers which resulted in a non-compliant product being sold.

These products were not registered with the appropriate body and the tank sizes exceeded the 2 ml limit required by the regulations.

However, during an inspection of the premises by the officers in June 2023, 871 non-compliant vapes were found in the store room. The products were seized and found to be worth approximately £8,700.

The owner was issued a warning and provided with further guidance.

Further intelligence received in January this year led to enforcement action being taken in March. A further 746 non-compliant vapes worth around £7,500 were seized from the premises and an associated vehicle.

The council consulted with retailers, the public and a school in the locality, on the potential for a closure order to be sought under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

In response to the consultation, the council said the shop owner apologised. He said he is deeply ashamed of his actions and is an honest person who has made mistakes.

The shop owner added he had traded from the premises for 10 years and claimed he had never had any issues with Durham Constabulary or the council.

The council subsequently applied to the court for an order to be made and magistrates imposed one for two months, recognising the illegal products constituted a nuisance to local residents and businesses.