18,000 vapes seized in Sydney as crackdown continues

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More than half a million dollars’ worth of vapes have been stopped from ever making it to Sydney’s streets, after an air cargo consignment of more than two and a half tonnes was seized earlier this month.

On Friday 15 March 2024, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified an air cargo consignment, declared as small clothing items.

Upon examination, officers identified approximately 2.7 tonnes of disposable vaping products, which equates to about 18,000 disposable vapes.

The potential estimated street value of the items seized is $540,000.

The items will be sent for destruction in the coming weeks, with inquiries into the origin of the consignment and the intended recipient continuing.

Between 1 January and 29 February 2024, about 350,000 vapes were seized by Australian Border Force officers nationally, with the assistance of our federal partners at the Therapeutic Goods Administration and state health departments.

From 1 January 2024, the importation of disposable vapes was prohibited, subject to very limited exceptions. This ban applies to disposable vapes irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims. From 1 March 2024, this was expanded to include the importation of all non-therapeutic vapes.

ABF Aviation Goods Superintendent Asha Patwardhan said people were starting to get the message and understand Australia is not open for business when it comes to importing illicit vaping products.

“The ABF’s experience in preventing the importation of a range of illicit goods means we are skilled and experienced to respond to this challenge, we can adapt quite quickly to stop concealments and detections,” Supt Patwardhan said.

“We are seeing individuals voluntarily surrender disposable vapes at the border. I encourage anyone travelling into Australia to use the surrender bins to dispose of any vapes prior to them being seized by our officers.

 “In saying that, combatting vaping is a complex problem and one that is being fought across many fronts. This problem is more than just enforcement, it is a whole of societal issue – health, education, environmental.”

For further information on this story, please visit: https://www.abf.gov.au/newsroom-subsite/Pages/18,000-vapes-seized-in-Sydney-as-crackdown-continues-26-03-2024.aspx

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