A herbal product for smoking is a product composed of plants, herbs or fruits, which does not contain tobacco and can be consumed by means of a combustion process. In Belgium, the sale and use of these products must comply with a series of rules established to protect the consumer and those around him/her.
 

LEGAL BASIS 

The provisions of Articles 15 and 16 of the Royal Decree of 5 February 2016 on the manufacture and placing on the market of tobacco products apply specifically to plant-based products for smoking. They provide for a health warning on the packages and a notification procedure. The general rules laid down in Article 6 of the same decree also apply to warnings for herbal products for smoking.

The health warning shall fulfil the following conditions:

  • it is present on the front and rear surface of the outer packaging 
  • it covers 35% of each of the two corresponding surfaces
  • it contains the following texts:

"Fumer ce produit nuit à votre santé

Het roken van dit product schaadt uw gezondheid

Das rauchen dieses Produkts schädigt Ihre Gesundheit"

  • it is written in bold black Helvetica font on a white background with a large font size so that the text occupies as much of the available area as possible.

In Belgium, herbal products for smoking are considered to be similar to tobacco products. Therefore:

  • it is prohibited to smoke herbal products in enclosed public places.
  • it is prohibited to advertise and promote herbal products, with the exception of the affixing of the brand on posters in newsstands and specialised points of sale.
  • it is prohibited to sell herbal products to anyone under 16 years of age.

Furthermore, other legislation, the application of which does not fall within the scope of the FPS Public Health, also applies. For example, under the tax legislation, these products must carry a tax stamp and must meet all provisions of the tax legislation with regard to excise duties. For more information on tax legislation, please contact the Federal Public Service Finances : da.tabac.brussels@minfin.fed.be

Notification

The notification procedure is mandatory according to Article 16 of the Royal Decree of 5 February 2016 on the manufacture and placing on the market of tobacco products. The notification procedure requires manufacturers of herbal products for smoking to submit to the authorities before the product is placed on the market a list of all ingredients (and their quantities) used in the manufacture of such products by brand and type.

In practice, requests for the evaluation of notifications must be made by e-mail (enottab@health.fgov.be)after the data has been entered into EUCEG as an "Herbal product for smoking".

EUCEG is a computer system implemented by the European Commission. It allows the notification of tobacco products, e-cigarettes and herbal products for smoking.

More information:https://ec.europa.eu/health/euceg/introduction_en.

In case of technical problems with EUCEG, please contact the European Commission: SANTE-EUCEG-ITSUPPORT@ec.europa.eu.

For any questions about the notification of herbal products for smoking and the status of your file: enottab@health.fgov.be 
 

List of notified products

In the context of this procedure, the FPS Public Health makes available to the public a list containing all the products received and verified with regard to the legal obligations of notification.

"Received and verified" means that all data to be legally transmitted by the producer or importer to the Belgian authorities has been provided to the FPS Public Health via the EUCEG European notification system. The notification procedure is an administrative obligation that must be fulfilled before a herbal product for smoking is placed on the market and its goal is to inform the authorities and the public. This condition is necessary, but insufficient, for the product to be put on the market. As indicated, other legislation such as excise tax legislation also applies.

The presence of a product on this list does not in any way mean that it is safe for health. It simply indicates that the producer or importer has fulfilled his administrative obligations and that this is confirmed by our services.

The FPS Public Health therefore recommends that you do not consume herbal products for smoking if you are a non-smoker and that you consult your doctor, a tobacco expert or call 0800/11100 if you are a smoker and want to stop smoking.

In case of doubt, to check the status of a product, you can contact our services via the following address: enottab@sante.belgique.be. Please provide as much product information as possible and, if possible, a photo. Our service will answer as soon as possible.

If a product is not on this list, it does not meet the requirements for notification of herbal products for smoking, and therefore cannot be marketed on the Belgian market.
 

List glossary:

Submitter Name: Name of the company that submitted the file to the authorities.

Submitter Country: Country of origin of the company.

Submitter Type: Type of company (Manufacturer / Importer).

Product id: Unique number assigned to the product to identify it.

Brand Name(s) & Brand Sub Type Name(s): Name(s) and sub-name(s) of the product. These 2 fields provide basic information about the product.

The positive list shows, in the top left corner, the date of the last update.

E-mail contact: enottab@health.fgov.be
 

Special case: products for smoking containing CBD

Many herbal products for smoking containing CBD have recently appeared on the market. These products must comply with the general rules set out above. Some specific points of attention: 

  • Their THC content must be less than 0.2%. Otherwise, they are considered as narcotics.
  • Their labelling may not include therapeutic indications. Otherwise, they are considered as medicines.
  • They cannot be presented as herbal teas or potpourri.

For more information on CBD-based products, you can consult:
https://www.fagg-afmps.be/sites/default/files/downloads/faq_cannabis_en.pdf.