The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is planning to establish vape certification facilities in the country as part of the government’s heightened enforcement operations against illegal vape products.

In a statement on Thursday, Feb. 29, the Trade department said Secretary Alfredo Pascual already directed DTI officials to assess the department’s preparedness in implementing the Vape Law and to identify any equipment needed for testing.

The product registration and other related provisions of Republic Act 11900, or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, will take effect in June 2024.

Under the law, all importation and manufacturing of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products shall be required to undergo the DTI mandatory certification process prior to market distribution.

“It is essential to have a well-maintained machinery, up-to-date methodologies, and an efficient laboratory management system to bring vapor products into the market with greater confidence in their safety and performance,” Pascual said.

Last week, DTI Consumer Protection Group Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles led the inspection of the existing vape testing facilities in the Bureau of Philippine Standards laboratory in Cavite.

The inspection evaluated the testing protocols for vapor products and related accessories, including dry cells and secondary batteries.

Assessments of various laboratory instruments were also conducted to ensure the integrity and efficacy of the testing process.

The DTI said that at present, budgetary constraints prevent the testing facilities from covering heated tobacco products (HTP) consumables, e-liquids for vapor products, and nicotine pouches.

The House Committee on Ways and Means has instructed the DTI and the Department of Budget and Management to secure additional funding in the National Expenditure Program to expand the DTI’s testing capabilities.

The additional budget will also be used to fund more testing facilities for HTP consumables and e-liquids, and enhance the DTI’s certification process.

The DTI is urging consumers to report violators through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or