New to Australia

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by danep59, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. danep59

    danep59 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2018
    hi, I’m new to Australia and currently in NSW. From reading many forums I have gathered that you can import nicotine with a prescription. How would I go about getting a prescription to import and what would the doctor prescribe exactly
     
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  2. The Vaper

    The Vaper I Vape ∴ I Am

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney 2016
    There is currently only one source I know of, Nicopharm. Well, unless you can make an appointment to see Colin Mendelsohn - a smoking cessation specialist based in Sydney. Soon we might also see Nicovape throwing their hat into the ring, but they are not (yet) fully up and running.

    Having said all that, in most states we can order from overseas and have our nicotine reliably delivered. I've personally bought from Hiliq in China, and a friend regularly buys from Mixology vape in NZ. Now, when I said 'most' above, I was thinking primarily of Queensland. They put pressure on freight companies (AFAIR DHL was mentioned) to report nic import to them or refuse to carry it outright. In other words, Queensland are being complete d*cks about it.

    I live in Sydney NSW. I've never had trouble getting nicotine, without a prescription of any type.
    And welcome to Australia, and the forum. :)
     
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  3. DogMan

    DogMan Mutley

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    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    S/E Melbourne
    what field of work are you in, dane?

    assuming you are not in one where a conviction of any type could jeapordise your career, just go ahead and order

    there are only a handful of cases nationally where anyone has had issue, and only ever nasty warning letters or confiscation, leading to the need to reorder from a different supplier that i know of

    the vast majority of aussies DIY, owing to the PITA of importing
     
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  4. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    Welcome to VCA :)
    You don't need a prescription to import nic.
    Order some 100mg/ml in 100% PG base from https://www.hiliq.com/en, depending on how long you're here for & what strength you vape at, I'd suggest ordering 1 Liter or perhaps less if your stay here is short.
    Then you'll need to order doublers (which you mix 50/50 with nic base at double strength to get full strength, full flavored juice) from an AU vape vendor or flavor concentrates & PG &/or VG & some empty juice bottles to mix into.
    Or you can order pre-mixed, ready to vape juice, from the USA or UK or anywhere else that sells ejuice with nic already in it from numerous vendors.
     
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  5. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

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    Jun 7, 2018
    I have had no trouble importing e-liquid with nicotine so far, but only had 2 lots imported to date. Am in NSW as well.

    From what I have read, under the TGA's personal importation rules (therapeutic use of liquid containing nicotine for personal use), you are supposed to have a Dr.'s prescription in order to comply with the TGA personal importation rules. You can order up to 3 months supply at once (whatever amount that is, who knows, but some suggest keeping the amount of liquid ordered less that 1000ml and you should be ok), and no more than 15 months supply per year.

    As others have said, Dr Colin Mendelsohn - he is based in Sydney - is pro vaping and would write you a script, if you are anywhere near Sydney. Or Nicopharm do prescriptions, although there seems to be mixed opinions as to the validity of digital scripts. Nicopharm will email you the script on request. Nicovape are also launching a trial. If you go to their website you can sign up or pre-register interest in a free kit plus a free prescription. I did, but it will be a bit of time before it officially starts.

    Apart from that, the only hope is that a Dr. in your area might write you a physical prescription for liquid nicotine, although from what I am reading, most are reluctant to do so. I am going to ask my GP next time for a prescription, and if refused I'll tell them that vaping is the only thing that saved me from smoking, and that I will reluctantly continue to import nicotine "illegally", so hopefully they will see that they can only help me do things more legally by writing me a script.

    Edit - I've bought from Halo Cigs (I know, I know, I'm a newbie:)) and also from Mixology Vapes in NZ. Halo Cigs took about 2 weeks to ship, and Mixology Vapes around 4 days. Both have nic in their liquids, both pretty good flavour wise, although these are the only 2 I've bought from so far, so don't have any reference point about what tastes best. As mentioned, no issues at all importing. Also, there didn't seem to be any signs that customs even opened the package. One time I had an item imported, and it was opened and inspected by customs - I only knew this as there was a sticker / note on the package saying as much. So AFAIK both of my packages went through customs without even an inspection.
     
  6. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    That is simply an urban myth, a popular one but a myth none the less(look into it further & you'll find the truth or simply believe someone that has looked into it more).
    There is no 3 month limit & having a Dr's prescription is not going to help any more than not having a Dr's prescription(having a prescription may help if you are in possession of nicotine & stopped by law enforcement but it has nothing to do with importation).
    Keeping the amount to 1000ml or less has no additional benefit either, I have personally ordered 3L at one time & had it checked by customs & sent through with nothing more than a note in the package to say they had inspected the parcel.

    The only limitation for importation of nicotine is that it must not be a commercial quantity, which seems a bit arbitrary & it is, because it depends on how much the customs officer inspecting feels is a commercial quantity & that can vary from officer to officer.
    However, I know of multiple instances of people ordering 2L at a time & having no issue getting it delivered, even when many of them had their packages inspected. So I would suggest 2L is a safe bet to get through, if you really wanted that much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  7. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

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    Jun 7, 2018
    Noe, I did a lot of reading before deciding to switch to vaping. One of the things that stopped me for a long time was the lack of clarity around the legalities of vaping in Australia (at least, for me, in my mind).

    The law around importation, possession and use of nicotine (unless in a cigarette or NRT) does seem to vary at the state level, but as far as importation goes Australia-wide, I've compiled the relevant links on this subject.

    * Nicotine is generally a Schedule 7 poison
    * Nicotine can fall under Schedule 4 - Prescription Only Medicine OR Prescription Animal Remedy - if it is for a therapeutic purpose, but note that the exporter cannot make therapeutic claims; if they do it falls under the jurisdiction of the TGA and may be seized.

    https://www.tga.gov.au/publication/personal-import-scheme
    https://www.tga.gov.au/book-page/21-nicotine
    https://www.tga.gov.au/scheduling-basics

    - https://www.tga.gov.au/book-page/21-nicotine-0

    Classification of nicotine (under schedule 7) - and hence laws around it - varies from state to state. https://www.tga.gov.au/australian-state-territory-regulatory-controls-schedule-7-poisons

    If you don't want to go through all the above information for yourself, Colin Mendelsohn summarizes all of the above: http://colinmendelsohn.com.au/electronic-cigarettes/it-legal/

    Edit - all that said, there does seem to be differences state-by-state, for example I have heard of stories of people in Qld having imports seized. Also, I did read a news article saying that vaping devices were, or were going to be banned in WA.

    But for the OP, to be safe - who like me lives in NSW - a prescription from a Dr. is required. I am not a lawyer, but those links are published by the tga, and I imagine that a good lawyer would be arguing the law as it stands around importation, if any of us were unfortunate enough to run foul of the law on all this.

    It may all change if Vapageddon hits. :cry:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  8. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    First off, good on you for trying to get accurate & relevant information but you were looking in the wrong places.

    As far as IMPORTATION goes, you do not need a prescription in ANY state or territory. If you want to get one under some misguided belief that it will help, then go ahead.
    There is no restriction on importation of nicotine, which is a federal law enforcement area & has nothing to do with variance from state to state.
    Once the nicotine is in your possession, it becomes a state issue & you can be prosecuted for possession of a class 7 poison, without holding a valid licence or prescription (depending on your own state's laws) but that still has nothing to do with importation.
    It also has nothing to do with the TGA, it falls under Customs & Border Patrol juristiction & laws relevant to importation. As far as customs is concerned it is NOT a prohibited or restricted substance & does not need any special licences (or prescriptions) to be imported.
     
  9. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

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    Jun 7, 2018
    Hi Noe,

    well all that said, I don't know how you can import something without then possessing it :)

    According to the TGA (they are involved as importation of Nicotine can become a Schedule 4 good if used unofficially in a therapeutic role, not Schedule 7 - but it is deemed as a therapeutic good even though no one can explicitly make that claim) it IS a requirement of importing nicotine for personal use that you hold a prescription - that is a requirement and is spelled out quite clearly in those links I gave; at least that is how I read it.

    If you can point me to the laws that you are referring to, that would help. Thank you.
     
  10. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    You only need a prescription IF you are importing therapeutic goods. However, nicotine is not necessarily deemed a therapeutic good, customs know this & that is why they do not ask for proof of prescription when you import nicotine.
    Thus we are not importing via the therapeutic goods laws/loop hole & those rules/regs do not apply.
    I've been vaping for around 7 years now & this myth has been around certainly as long as I have been vaping, which is why a lot of people believe it to be true, even people with PHD's & vaping advocates but if you dig further you will find the truth, that being what I am telling you.
    I know for a fact that customs does not require a prescription to be produced for nicotine imports, for any other therapeutic/restricted medicine it does, can you explain that?
    Also can you explain how 3L (inspected by customs without incident) can be imported & claimed to be within the bounds of therapeutic 3 month supply?
    Sure that was a few years ago but i know of people recently that have imported 2L, a similarly absurd amount to use in 3mths.

    Possession & importation are, in the eyes of the law, two completely separate things & it is quite possible for me to import something to a different address & have someone else take possession.
    Lets not think about nicotine here but say illegal drugs, I import the goods, someone else picks them up to deliver to me but gets caught with them in their possession, they then give my name as the person who imported/payed to have them shipped - we both go to court on different charges related to the same package.
    See how it works now?

    No I can't point you to the specific laws, I lost all my bookmarks to such things when my HD died but the info is around & you can probably find it by sifting through customs regulations if you want it that badly.
    It IS a very confusing set of regulations & this is by design IMO, to keep people like you & me from attempting to obtain the ingredient we need to help us quit smoking the wrong way (ie. the cheap way that doesn't give the govt. revenue). There are other old school vapers, like myself, that know about this too & they may have links but I lost the relevant links/info. I just know it to be correct because I have seen the info. for myself.
     
  11. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Hi Noe,

    I understand what you are trying to say, but based on all information available currently, I have to disagree. I am happy to be wrong, however. Yet it is useful for all of us - and those who might be reading this later on - to know where we stand legally. Perhaps things have changed since your HDD has died? From the links I shared, and what I have been trying to stress, is that under the TGA's personal importation rules, Nicotine can generally be imported for therapeutic reasons as mentioned, which makes it a Schedule 4 class of goods, not the usual Schedule 7, which is what Nicotine (except for that in cigarettes and NRT) is normally classified as. However, use / possession varies state by state, with WA and perhaps QLD having a much more restricted approach than NSW currently.

    While Nicotine, under a classification of Schedule 4, is considered as a therapeutic good, neither the importer nor exporter can make claims of a therapeutic nature; that is, the company you buy the e-juice with nicotine in it, cannot claim that it is being sold as a smoking cessation good. If they were to do this, then it would require them to have a license (and TGA authorization) to sell a therapeutic good. So in other words it can be considered a therapeutic good for personal importation and usage, but not one that is sold under the pretense that it is, in fact, a therapeutic good.

    As for the difference between importation and possession, sure, in many cases there is a practical difference. However, reading the TGA's personal importation scheme indicates that the person doing the importing of nicotine is doing it for their own personal use. The website makes it pretty clear that importing of nicotine is possibly allowed for personal use only, so the person doing the importing is also possessing the good. If I was importing an amount of e-juice with nic and giving or selling it all to others, then that is not allowed - importation is for personal use only, and then only with a prescription (the TGA website makes this clear).

    Anyway, most people here (including the OP) I guess, like me, want to make sure that they do everything legally, if possible, which means getting a prescription for nicotine from a Dr. At the end of the day, those of us who import e-juice with nic, need a prescription for it to do it legally. Now whether that prescription covers importation or only possession, does that matter? I import nic juice and possess and use it, so a prescription ensures that from importing to possessing and using the juice, I have done everything required to comply with the law as it stands.

    Cheers - Justin.
     
  12. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    No, no law changes.

    Not arguing that point but it is irrelevant.

    Again, irrelevant, if you import it to another person's address & they are caught in possession it is theirs in the eyes of the law.
    Possession is the important part & where the prescription may be of benefit, however I recall at least 1 instance of someone with a prescription in Qld that had nic confiscated.

    Correct, except in the case of direct family members, then you are allowed to supply them.

    You're still avoiding the importation side of the laws though, which are federal regulations under customs & border patrol jurisdiction.
    You still haven't explained how 2L of 100mg/ml nic = 3months supply under your TGA fantasy hypothesis & how it passes through customs regularly in those amounts.
    I know for a fact that it does indeed come through customs, in those amounts, without impediment nor need for a prescription or license.
    The simple truth is, that it is not coming in under the therapeutic goods act & it has never been. If it were you would be required to produce a prescription upon customs inspection of your parcel, instead of receiving a note to say "opened for customs inspection" or they would destroy it & you would have to justify the amount being imported (ie. 3 months supply).

    Don't worry, you are not the first to be misguided in this area, when I first started vaping I was told about the "3 month supply law" & thought it may be true but another vaper on a different forum pointed out the proper laws that importation was affected by, giving the relevant links & so on for us to read. After reading through a whole lot of legal jargon I understood that the therapeutic 3 month supply was nonsense in our cases.
    You don't have to believe it but consider the facts:
    1. Nic can be imported in larger volume than you could possibly vape for personal use within 3 months (and in many cases 3 years for that matter) by any vaper.
    2. You do not need to preduce a prescription to customs if your nic parcel is inspected - this alone is evidence that it has nothing to do with the therapeutic goods act.
    For other therapeutic goods, eg. pills that are not available in Australia, you need to produce a prescription &/or evidence that it is a 3 month supply - as per the regs of the act, if you don't the goods are destroyed.
    3. Customs does not have a prohibition or restriction on importing nicotine, except if it is deemed to be for commercial use - the laws/regs are there on the customs & border patrol website if you are interested enough to look for them.
     
  13. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

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    Jun 7, 2018
    Ok, well my fantasy and irrelevant arguments are held widely in this country, and all I have asked is that you produce the evidence for what you claim. Either way, a prescription is required if you want to legally vape nicotine. If you want to import it, but then not possess it nor vape it, then what are we discussing here?
     
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  14. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    The OP's question was in regard to if he needed a prescription to import nicotine, the simple answer to that is - No you do not & additionally to that you never have needed one.
    If your aim is to vape nicotine legally then having a prescription may help, it also may not, depending on which state you are in & how the law enforcement officers/court feel on any given day.
    However, the OP was specifically interested in importing & for that you do not need a prescription & there is no limit to the amount you can import, as long as it is not deemed a commercial amount.

    I specifically told you where to look for the information, if you care to investigate further. I also told you I do not have the links readily accessible & why I don't, if I did I would post them.
    I am not prepared to waste my time searching for the information, I have already read & which you can easily seek out for yourself or you can continue to believe the 3 month therapeutic myth you seem so attached to, either way I know I am not doing your research for you.
     
  15. Rayjay

    Rayjay Senior Member

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    Duck River NW Tasmania
    ffs, I have now been vaping for 5 years+ All this time consuming legal jargon as @Noe says is simply a myth. Customs do not give a moot about Nicotine base. Try importing Snuff over 50g they do...go figure. As far as Queensland is concerned to date I have not read of one vaper being prosecuted for nic juice possession. Toll carriers AFAIK were the only ones scruitinising what they were delivering.

    By Law they would have the Nic in their possession to deliver to you regardless if they imported it or nay. So they don't want it in their possession. How they know it's Nic base?

    The OS vendor must have declared it as such or they know the sender / vendor.

    I am in Tasmania. Yes it is illegal to have it in our possession or sell or give to any one. No one here gives a rats arse. The only time I have had issues importing from OS was when the vendors f....d up my delivery address (1) instance in 5 years (2) It was lost by TNT China. (1) Instance. Never had an issue with DHL.

    As to Mixology and other NZ companies never a problem.

    There is another solution to Qld shite. Grey Nomads use mail forwarders ok it costs a little more... but then the Qld Ninny Nannies can't detect the parcel as it is forwarded from Australia. There are many mail fowarding services outside Qld. Google them.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
     
  16. KayP

    KayP Senior Member

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    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    All I have to say is I live in Queensland and I apparently have been breaking the law for more than two years by importing, vaping and possessing e-liquid containing nicotine; in fact, the government has been kind enough to create a hotline to encourage the public to report vapers like me. The law is not as strict in all Australian states, e.g. NSW.

    Justin, if you feel discouraged in taking up vaping due to the controversial and unfair nicotine laws in Australia, then not much else can be said or done. I, personally, am glad I quit cigarettes.
     
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  17. Rayjay

    Rayjay Senior Member

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    Well said @KayP Same here I am also very glad I quit cigarettes, and we all know the law is an Ass and their (?) enforcers (?) Ass Jockeys. I make this statement only when comes to vape laws and their ninny nannies, there are some very good laws and enforcers in other branches of Australian Law.
    I got eye strain reading the debate between Noe and Justin.
    Consider it this way Justin, what is more important to you your health or some bullshit regulations that hardly anyone bothers to police in any state with the exception of Qld and maybe WA. You live in NSW as I understand it and wtf man, Vape on and be happy.

    Are you out there @emu what's the situation in W.A. ?
    AFAIK Vape shops are doing a roaring trade in W.A.
     
  18. jslJustin

    jslJustin New Member

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    I am a happy vaper, I am sorry if anyone got the impression I am not. I will continue to vape as my health is more important.

    As for the laws, I had a family member who was concerned about the legalities of it all, so for her benefit I researched it as best I could.

    What am I supposed to do? I was trying to ease concerns from within my own family.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  19. Rayjay

    Rayjay Senior Member

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    Lol @jslJustin We vapers in the majority are anarchists when it comes to Ninny Nanny laws in Australia. As to the various links you posted, I for one thank you as it was a long time since I looked at them. As to family concerns about legality of Nic Vaping quite a few of us long term vapers and our families do not give a moot about these laws.

    They prefer us to be stinkies free and healthy. To put it bluntly......F....k the Ninny Nannies. Look at it this way man. It costs the taxpayer an approximate sum of $100,000 to put a criminal into jail for a year. If these idiot Ninny Nannies started jailing Vapers using nicotine vapes, not only would the jails be over crowded but the state budgets would have a massive deficit. Vape on man, enjoy your life and give the ninny nannies the one finger salute as most of us do.:rofl:
     
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  20. KayP

    KayP Senior Member

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    Jan 31, 2016
    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    I can sympathise with you on that one as I have experienced similar issues when trying to help family and friends. It can be a sad affair at most times; however, extremely joyous when one succeeds.
     
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