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Shotton Importer prosecuted for supply of unsafe electronic cigarette kit

Published: 01/12/2014

An importer who supplied unsafe e cigarette chargers in his Flintshire shop has been prosecuted by Flintshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service. Mr Anthony Bowman, Managing Director of Crystal Clear Vape Limited pleaded guilty to offences of supplying an unsafe electronic cigarette kit which didn’t meet the requirements of The General Product Safety Regulations 2005. The kit was supplied with a charger which was not properly insulated or wired and was not adequately labelled. It posed a risk of electric shock to the user and possible fire hazard due to overheating. Mr Bowman and Crystal Clear Vape Limited were each fined £500 and ordered to pay £50 victim surcharge together with the prosecution costs. Trading Standards officers test-purchased the e cigarette kit earlier this year after receiving a complaint that a kit purchased from the Crystal Clear Vapours shop in Shotton had overheated and caught fire as it was being charged with a power unit. In this instance the power unit had not been bought from the Crystal Clear shop, however a subsequent examination of the test-purchased e cigarette kit and the complaint item by an expert witness proved that the charger supplied with the test-purchased kit did not comply with the regulations. In mitigation Mr Bowman stated that he had imported the items from China and had not fully understood the responsibilities placed on him to ensure that the products met safety requirements. He told the court that he did not come from a technical background but was now sourcing fully tested products from a reputable importer and was confident that they are safe. He stated that he had also reduced the scale of his e cigarette business. Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Waste Management Strategy, Public Protection and Leisure. said, “We have become increasingly concerned about imports of cheap charging devices, many of which are being imported directly from the Far East by quite small businesses or just individuals trading via the Internet. Anyone importing electrical products has to address their responsibility for ensuring products are safe otherwise they will put UK consumers at risk. Our Trading Standards officers are in regular contact with Flintshire based importers and provide advice to local businesses to help them comply with safety requirements, but where consumers’ safety is put at risk formal action is always a consideration. If any local supplier is unsure of their legal requirements I would urge them to contact Trading Standards for advice and guidance on 01352 703181.”