Published: 27th February 2020
The future of the e-cigarette industry has been threatened by new regulations brought in under the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), 2014. The new rules took effect in May 2016, and are intended to regulate the tobacco industry across the EU, providing additional protection for the health of individuals
There are fears that this directive will cause irreparable and unnecessary financial harm to e-cigarette companies, however, with a major objection being the classification of electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.
This introduces stringent restrictions on the development and sale of e-cigarette products, including e-liquids and canisters, and threatens to cause extreme financial difficulty for operators in the industry.
From 20th May 2017, retailers in the e-cigarette industry can only sell goods that are licensed. This means that any unsold stock becomes obsolete, creating a potentially large cash shortfall that could affect business success in the long-term.
The requirement for e-cigarette products to be licensed by manufacturers and producers also introduces significant extra cost to their business operations. Licensing a pharmaceutical supply is very expensive, and as the legislation now states that every product variety has to be licensed, it could even threaten a company’s ability to survive.
Begbies Traynor offers free advice to anyone operating in the e-cigarette industry. Our licensed insolvency practitioners have extensive commercial experience and industry knowledge, and will clarify your options to escape potential insolvency.
Depending on the nature and extent of your financial position, these could include:
HMRC offers extra time to pay tax and National Insurance arrears if they believe a company’s financial difficulties are only temporary. This is done through a payment plan known as a Time to Pay - or TTP - arrangement. Although the usual duration of a TTP is 3-6 months, we may be able to negotiate an instalment plan of up to 12 months.
The involvement of licensed professionals gives HMRC confidence that you will be able to afford your monthly repayments, and that the financial difficulties are, in fact, likely to be temporary.
A number of alternative finance options may be available to suit your business model, including merchant cash advances or a form of invoice financing. This type of funding is more flexible than standard business bank loans, as well as being quicker to obtain.
Whether a lump sum is required, or a source of regular working capital, Begbies Traynor has contacts with over 50 alternative lenders around the country, and will work with you to ensure you apply for the most appropriate form of funding.
A Company Voluntary Arrangement, or CVA, is a formal insolvency solution that may be suitable if you have previously been profitable, and have relatively predictable cash flow. Your business must be fundamentally viable, which will established by the appointed IP before a proposal to creditors is drawn up.
Two major benefits of a CVA are that interest and charges are stopped, and your creditors are prevented from taking legal action against you. As a director, you retain control of the company in the long-run, and are provided with the opportunity to trade your way out of financial trouble.
For more information on how to deal with the aftermath of the Tobacco Products Directive, call our experts at Begbies Traynor. We operate from over 80 offices around the UK, and can offer you a free same-day appointment to discuss your situation in complete confidence.