New rules for the retail of veterinary medicines by online shops
Commencing 28 January 2022, the date on which the new Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation enters into force, the retail of veterinary medicines by online shops (i.e. eCommerce businesses) will be subject to several rules.
Pursuant to the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation, only veterinary medicines that do not require a prescription (so-called over-the-counter drugs) can be traded online.
Individual Member States may choose to implement exceptions to this rule. In the Netherlands, holders of a DR permit are allowed to sell prescription-only veterinary medicines from both a brick-and-mortar store and an online shop. These prescription-only veterinary medicines must not be sold online to parties located outside the Netherlands, as different laws and regulations may apply in other countries.
If you are a retailer who sells veterinary medicines in a brick-and-mortar store as well as online or intends to establish an online shop, be aware that certain requirements apply. A description of these requirements can be found in:
- the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation (Article 104);
- Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1904. This regulation contains information on: The common logo for the retail of veterinary medicinal products at a distance.
The following information must be provided on your online shop's website, effective 28 January.
- How to contact the Veterinary Medicinal Products Unit.
- A link to the Online Retail of Veterinary Medicinal Products page.
- The logo must be featured prominently on each page of the website.
- The logo must contain a link to the register of shops permitted to sell veterinary medicines online.
You are allowed to incorporate this logo into your website once you have applied to the Veterinary Medicinal Products Unit for permission to do so to. Read more on the Online Retail of Veterinary Medicinal Products page.
What kind of information will be available on the Veterinary Medicinal Products Unit's website after 28 January 2022?
In the Netherlands, the information you can find on the Veterinary Medicinal Products Unit's website includes things such as:
- the rules applicable to retailers permitted to supply veterinary medicinal products for sale at a distance (i.e. online), effective 28 January 2022;
- the website of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), where you can find information on the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation and the retail of veterinary medicinal products at a distance;
- the common European logo as referred to in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1904;
- the register of licences. This register lists all retailers who currently hold a valid retail licence (D/DR status);
- the register of shops permitted to sell veterinary medicines online;
- the fact that different EU Member States may have different ways to categorise the various ways in which veterinary medicines can be supplied (i.e. supply status).
Please note: for the time being, the requirements as currently specified in Article 104 of the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation and in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1904 will only apply to retailers who are required to apply for a retail licence pursuant to the Dutch Animals Act, the Dutch Decree on Veterinary Medicinal Products and the Dutch Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations.