____________________________________________ ECF does not in any way approve any product or approve of any product of any kind seen on this website or offered for sale on any other website. ECF does not sell any products and no products are offered for sale directly on this website, with the exception of private sales within the Classifieds section, access to which is prohibited for Suppliers. ECF does not in any way approve any Supplier* or approve of any Supplier in any way whatsoever. * a Supplier is any commercial trader or vendor or entity acting as a business and selling e-cigarettes or ecigarette-related materials ECF cannot control the content of external websites, or monitor the products for sale, or approve or disapprove of them, or determine if the site or the products or the business concerned complies with any local laws, since it would be absolutely impossible for us to do any of these and guarantee that we had done so or had checked on any given day for any of the hundreds of global suppliers websites who are registered with ECF. ECF IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF OTHER WEBSITES. ____________________________________________ Suppliers Information 'Suppliers' are those who have an ecigarette-related business, or who trade in any way connected with ecigarettes. If a trader is not registered with us, which involves a review procedure, they MAY NOT post any reference of any kind related to their involvement with buying or selling any materials related to ecigarettes. All Suppliers have 'forum titles' that can be seen under their username, to the left of their posts in the forum. These titles are designed to help our community recognise who is who. ECF (the E-Cigarette Forum) has the following basic groups of Suppliers: ECF SUPPLIER TYPES: Main Supplier Group: Registered Supplier - Defined as Standard online suppliers of ecigarettes hardware and/or eliquid who normally hold a lot of stock, import and source from several different sources, and often market their own brands - Sites MUST have active online trading (secure shopping carts) - maximum 2 open threads for advertising in the main public Supplier Forum E Cigarette Suppliers Forum Minor Supplier Usergroups - known as "restricted suppliers" - no access to private Suppliers Forum 1. Supplier Offline defined as any commercial affiliation with an ecigarette business selling hardware and/or eliquid but with no website, web promotion, or online presence of any kind. -this supplier group includes modders without a website. In addition to the main Supplier Forum, specific Supplier sub forums: Modders/Accessories available for advertising Modder/Accessories Supplier Forum 2. Accessories Supplier - Defined as selling any ecigarette related items but do not sell the 2 main components of ecigs : hardware or eliquid. They can be either registered with website OR offline with no website, web promotion, or online presence of any kind - permitted 2 open advertising threads in total in either public Suppliers Forum or their own specific subforum Modder/Accessories Supplier Forum 3. Supplier Services Provider - Defined as selling or offering a service for suppliers ie. merchant accounts - Can only advertise in the Supplier Services Forum Services for Suppliers 4. Wholesale/Manufacturers - Defined as Suppliers selling strictly wholesale or manufacturing ecigarettes and/or eliquid - Can only advertise in the Wholesale/Manufacturer private forum Forum Supplier: - Defined as Suppliers with their own dedicated forum – *capped at 80 in number* - waiting list >1.5 years The Forum Suppliers (FS) group is capped at 80 in total since there are limited resources. All must have a website. Each has a dedicated forum here, and access to additional advertising options. There is a waiting list, which Registered Suppliers can apply to go on. There is a monthly fee for the forum facility, to cover our monitoring process, which maintains an oversight of customer service issues, and mediation in disputes. Their forum title is Forum Supplier. If a Forum Supplier has unresolved issues with customers that we deem unacceptable, or does not post regularly on their forum to assist customers, or defaults on payment, they are removed and a Registered Supplier near the top of the waiting list and deemed most suitable is promoted (not necessarily the highest on the list). If a Forum Supplier has been deemed inactive (less than 10 posts/month), they run the risk of having their Forum removed without notification. Supplier Associates - Defined as members who are designated or employed by the Forum Supplier to represent/ advertise the business in the specific dedicated forum and in the advertising thread in the main public Supplier Forum Supplier - Unregistered A Supplier in one of these groups: - has applied and is awaiting approval - has applied but has not yet returned their Supplier Details Form - application has been rejected after review, having not done the revisions to the site within the allocated deadline 2 weeks - has been rejected due to a DBA /site name that includes a health or a 'smoke anywhere' claim - has been rejected as name is identical or very similar to currently Registered Supplier/s None may offer products for sale, or post links. _________________________________________________________________ What does supplier registration involve? Our staff inspect your business and your website. We are interested in two things: - protecting our community from bad businesses - helping to ensure a satisfactory regulatory outcome for ecigarette use Therefore we reject suppliers who are known for, or suspected of, poor business practices. Secondly, we cannot register any supplier with a DBA name and/or website that makes any kind of health claims. This is specifically prohibited because an industry that promotes what is not proven is not likely to be successful in achieving a satisfactory regulatory status. If you can provide documented proof of the positive results of a long-term medical investigation into the health aspects of ecigarette use (or some aspect of it), that would be different. There is currently no evidence that e-cigarettes are either harmless or safe. Opinions, even those of doctors, do not count because they are not fact. A 'fact' for this purpose is something that is provable in court. Vendors who make claims that e-cigarettes are a health product, or that they can be used to quit smoking, or that they are a pharmaceutical product, or that they could be regulated as a pharmaceutical or by a pharmaceutical licensing agency, will not be accepted (or will be removed). E-Cigarettes are a consumer product that is an alternative to smoking. A smoker may switch to using an e-cigarette as an alternative. Health claims or quit-smoking claims imply that the product is a pharmaceutical product according to the law in most countries. Any product that, 'is designed, made, or sold to treat or cure a disease is a licensable pharmaceutical product' (the usual phrasing of the law in many countries). Since smoking is legally classed as an addiction, and thus a disease, any product sold to assist in smoking cessation is a pharmaceutical by law. E-cigarettes are a consumer product and not a pharmaceutical product, and any supplier who acts in a way that may result in e-cigarettes being seen as or classed as or regulated as a pharmaceutical will not be accepted (or will be removed). Any e-cigarette business can apply for Registered Supplier (RS) status on this site. There is a review process, which includes a review of the supplier's website, if any. If a website is registered (ie passed as not containing unprovable statements or offensive content [which is a factor determined by us]), a Registered Supplier can post links to that site, in those areas of our site that we allow. The review procedure has two separate parts: a check to see that no health claims are made (as no such claims are proven), and that no claims are made that an ecigarette can be used anywhere (as this is untrue); and a check on customer service reputation if such information exists. Please note that there is NO 'approval' element to our review: we cannot and do not 'approve' a supplier or their products or website in any way. We check to see they make no unproven or untrue claims, and that they are not known for poor business practices. ECF cannot approve of any products, or whether they are legal or illegal in whatever jurisdiction the website may reside, or whether the products may or may not have certifications such as UL or CE marks or equivalents, or whether the products are of merchantable quality or not, or whether the products may be considered safe or not, BECAUSE IT IS UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ECF TO DO SO. ECF is neither a global Police service nor a global consumer testing authority and cannot act as either. Therefore all products seen on websites seen on ECF must be considered as unsafe and untested by default, unless the Supplier can show otherwise. _____________________________________________________________ ECF and Suppliers We are glad to assist Suppliers because it benefits everyone. But please keep in mind that we are under pressure, together with the fact that there is always a waiting list for all Supplier groups. New vendors (unregistered) : don't post anything - ANYTHING - that might be interpreted as having some sort of commercial connection, until you are authorised to do so. If you would like a reply to your query, please see our Contacts page and carefully follow the instructions there. PLEASE NOTE If you are a supplier or intending to become one, it would be of great benefit to all if you try to understand the following: 1. You need to read our Rules and follow them very carefully. If you don't, unfortunately our cordial relationship will end. 2. This site is the largest and most respected ecigarette website in the world. We have a duty to protect our community; and we are also in the frontline of the campaign for respectability and deregulation of PVs / ecigarettes. This is a critical time for ecigarette users in many countries, and we have a global presence. Because of this, our agenda is likely to be different from yours. 3. This site is under intense pressure. There are over 300,000 posts a month on the forum, for example. There are 24/7 attacks from the usual sources, as well as hundreds of daily emails, PMs, and new supplier applications from the very large number of people worldwide who would like a presence here. Help us to help you by respecting our wishes. Supplier Rules Contacts page DO NOT post any commercially-related material here - or anything that might be interpreted as such in any way - until you have received confirmation of approval of your registration. If we notify you of changes that might be needed to your website in order for your application to succeed, that does NOT constitute approval. Do not make any payments to us - do not mention your products - do not proceed in any way differently from a normal community member - UNTIL WE TELL YOU OTHERWISE. Applying to be registered as a Supplier Please include relevant details in your initial communications because we find it very hard to take anonymous business owners seriously. We would appreciate: - your forum username (we recommend you register as it helps us) - website URL (if existing) - full name (ie both names) - the name and full postal address of the business - your title / position at the business Please contact: supplier[AT]e-cigarette-forum[DOT]com [rebuild to usual email format with @ and .com] _____________________________________________________________ Annual Supplier Registration Fees All Suppliers (excluding Forum Suppliers) pay an annual Supplier Registration fee of $50 per year. Being a Supplier on ECF gives you a unique opportunity to interact with tens of thousands of visitors every day and let them know what you have to offer them. ECF operates with the e-cigarette industry's highest ethical standards and does not confer Supplier status lightly. The $50 registration fee is a processing and administration fee, not an annual licence fee. It is a one-off payment for processing the registration yearly and is not refundable in any circumstances. The fee can be paid directly on the forum site by setting up a recurring annual subscription using either PayPal or Moneybookers. (Please note that we have been specifically asked by Suppliers to provide this PayPal facility.) Fee must paid upon acceptance. In the event the fee is unpaid, Supplier status will be removed. _____________________________________________________________ During the application process: You will find yourself classified in the usergroup Unregistered until the process is complete. If you were banned for posting about your business and received an infraction for being unregistered, you might not be reinstated until the application process is completed and successful. Review Process Please note that there may be a delay of up to 4 weeks due to the number of applicants and the review process. You would be well advised to read our regulations concerning your website content as it will save you a great deal of time. DBA names and/or websites with health, 'smoke anywhere', quit smoking, NRT, or 'water vapor only' claims, or other unacceptable claims listed in the ECF Business Site Criteria that you will receive upon application, will have no chance of becoming registered. Username ID Choice: Your username cannot contain your DBA ('doing business as') business name/site domain name in part or in full. You will be asked to choose another, and we will make the change in the system for you on any current username of yours. Only ONE ID per company A supplier can only have one username registered at this forum. This is a simple and obvious requirement because otherwise suppliers would register 10 staff and flood the forum. Business Name - DBA @ ECF 1. Identical / similar-named Suppliers policy We are starting to see new suppliers applying for registration that have very similar names to an existing registered ECF supplier. At some stage this is inevitable in the same vertical market, but can only cause problems for members, for the suppliers concerned, and for us - so unfortunately we need to prevent new suppliers coming on board with confusingly-similar names. Any supplier with a name (DBA name) considered too similar to that of an existing registered ECF Supplier cannot be accepted until the trading name that will be used/referred to on ECF and if necessary, the site domain name is adjusted. 2. Any supplier with DBA/site domain name that openly courts an association with drugs, or that appears to appeal to an underground audience and who may bring the industry into disrepute, will not be accepted. 3. Any supplier with a name (DBA / site domain name) that contains a health or smoke anywhere claim in their business name or domain name will not be accepted until adjusted. 4. Applications for registration as a Supplier, with a DBA or domain name that is, or is closely related to, an existing model/product name, even if it is partly generic (ex: ego), will need to provide some form of authorization from the original factory or the western distributor or similar. This is to avoid trade disputes taking place. Trade disputes As the market matures, more trade disputes are being seen. These may involve product names, designs, marketing rights, patents and so on. ECF can become involved, unwillingly, in these because the site can become a battleground for Suppliers settling disputes. In the past, these disputes tended to exclusively involve buyers and Suppliers, but more inter-Supplier disputes are seen now. Because of this, we sometimes have to take action that we do not want to but is carried out to protect someone somewhere and that we are often unable to fully explain at the time. Suppliers are strongly advised to seek professional advice about protecting their rights. These rights can be digital or intellectual property, and are just as valuable as physical property (or more so). You should seek advice from two sources: a highly experienced web professional and a legal advisor, preferably with some knowledge of web business. Here are two examples of areas that may become problematic: domain names and patents. . .