Summer is coming! Maybe you’re heading off for a couple of weeks away in some exotic location, but have you thought about how to travel with your vape gear and e-liquid? Our marketing manager is off to Spain soon for a music festival (lucky him!). But having his e-cig or e-liquid confiscated, getting a fine or even ending up in jail is not part of the plan. So, he’s been researching what the rules are for travelling with vape gear and e-liquids in 2019. We thought we’d share what he found in this post to save you some of the leg work or at least guide you on what to check for.
Check the rules on vaping in your chosen destination
Every country has different rules on vaping, even within the EU, so it’s a must to check if your destination allows vaping, what age you have to be, where it is allowed (usually not in enclosed public spaces) and what amount of e-liquid and nicotine content you can have.
Countries which have banned vaping
In the UK, being a country supportive of vaping as a much safer alternative to smoking, there is no official legislation regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Not all countries have followed suit though and a few have chosen to put restrictions on vaping or ban it altogether. The penalties for contravening laws on vaping in these countries can be severe so be careful. The following list is from Public Health England and is correct as of November 2018:
Countries which ban the sale of e-cigs:
Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Gambia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay
Countries which ban the sale of vape products containing nicotine:
Australia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Switzerland
Countries which ban the use of e-cigs entirely:
Cambodia, Jordan, Nepal, Panama, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates
However, countries can relax and tighten their rules as and when they wish so it’s important to check the laws in the country you are visiting before you leave. Hong Kong, for instance, is looking at banning the distribution of vape products (even as gifts) while still allowing vaping in areas where smoking allowed.
Flying with vaping gear and e-liquids
Unfortunately, as with the countries themselves, aviation authorities, airports and airlines have their own rules on what they allow and don’t allow regarding vaping gear and e-liquids. Again, once you know which airport you are flying from/to and with which airline(s), research what you can and can’t do. Here are some general guidelines though from British Airways (BA) with some added clarifications from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA):
Vape gear and batteries on planes
First, check that your destination country allows vape gear, e-liquids (nicotine or non-nicotine) and vaping. You shouldn’t need to worry about just passing through a country in transit though but check this with your airline to be sure.
Bringing e-cigs on planes
Your e-cig needs to be kept in your hand luggage (or about your person) whether it has batteries installed or not. It must also be suitably protected against accidental activation if the batteries cannot be removed. You can’t vape on planes anyway.
If your hand luggage is checked in or placed in the hold for some reason, then you will need to remove your e-cig and carry it with you in person.
If your e-cig contains any e-liquid, you will need to follow the safety requirements for liquids (see below). We don’t recommend leaving e-liquid in your e-cig in a pressurised cabin anyway to avoid leaks.
Tip: If you are running an RBA, then take a few spare coils (pre-made) with you in your checked baggage and just the essential tools you need to replace them so you don’t have to go through security with a full coil building kit.
Bringing lithium-ion batteries on planes
Your rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (if you have removed them, or spares) also need to be kept in your hand luggage (or about your person) with the terminals covered with electrical tape and preferably in a protective battery carry case to prevent accidental short circuit. You aren’t allowed to charge your batteries on a plane so charge them before you leave.
For mech mods, you must remove the battery as these unregulated devices can cause fires or explode if the fire button is pressed for an extended period with the battery installed.
Battery Carry Case. Just £1.99
According to the CAA, you can keep lithium-ion batteries in your e-cig (as long as it’s not a mech mod). Different airlines allow different numbers of spares to be carried. BA’s website states that you are allowed a maximum of 4 spare batteries per person, but after calling customer support, we we’re too convinced so we think 2 max. to avoid any issues. Lithium-ion batteries must not exceed 100Wh (watt hour) or airline approval is required. Don’t worry though, batteries for vape devices do not even come close to this at the moment.
To work out the Wh rating of your battery, use the following equation:
milliamp hour (mAh)/1000 x the voltage = Wh
For instance, our Sony VCT5 batteries are 2600mAh and 3.6V:
2600/1000 = 2.6 x 3.6 = 9.36Wh
Sony VCT5 Batteries. £4.99 each
According to BA, if the Wh rating is not shown on the battery or its Wh rating cannot be determined, then the battery cannot be accepted.
Again, if your hand luggage is checked in or placed in the hold, you must remove all spare batteries and carry them with you in the cabin.
E-liquids on planes
So long as the country you are flying to/from allows e-liquid, it is treated as any other liquid. This means when packed in your hand luggage:
- It must be in its own container of no more than 100ml.
- All liquid items must fit into a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of up to 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) with a total capacity of up to one litre. Remember that’s one bag per passenger.
- You must be able to completely close the bag and fit it in your hand luggage.
You can put e-liquids in checked luggage though but careful that you pack them well in a sealed plastic bag or you might end up with your clothes soaked in your favourite juice!
On the topic of e-liquids, if you are going to a destination outside of the EU, it would be a good idea to take your UK made juice with you (again, if allowed and in the permitted quantity) because purchasing juice outside of the EU means it will not be TPD compliant and may not be good quality. As mentioned earlier, check the rules in the country you are travelling to because some only allow non-nicotine e-liquids and (strangely enough) Greece only allows e-liquids WITH nicotine as of 2018. Confusing, we know.
If you are able take e-liquids to your destination, then check out our post on the best summer e-liquid flavours for some great ideas for holiday vapes.
Refreshingly zesty with a super cool mint zing, this e-liquid based on classic Cuban cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to a holiday in the sun. Only £6.99/60ml.
Can you vape at airports?
This one is easy. At the moment, no, at least for UK airports anyway. As a rule of thumb while at any airport, if you do need to vape and you are allowed, then stick to the designated smoking areas to be on the safe side. The crazy thing is, in countries where vaping is banned, you may find yourself unable to vape while smokers puff happily away…go figure. We hope this will change as time goes on.
Travelling with Vape Gear and E-liquids in 2019
As countries come to terms with the popularity of vaping and its effectiveness as an aid to quit smoking, rules change, and sometimes even bans are lifted. The key to travelling with vape gear and e-liquids in 2019 is research so you don’t get caught out and you can just relax and enjoy your holiday.
P.S. Keep your gear out of the sun, sea and sand 🙂
Have you had any problems travelling with your vape gear and e-liquids? Share your story and tips in the comments below.
Sign up to the Vapoholic newsletter below and receive our latest deals, flash sales, new e liquid flavour releases and up to date vape culture and vape industry news delivered straight to your inbox. You’ll also receive 10% off your next order!