Excise awaits entry of popular Juul e-cigarettes
The e-cigarettes to be sold in the Philippines by leading US manufacturer JUUL Labs through Gokongwei-led JG Summit would be subjected to regulations and excise, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Wednesday.
Asked about Thursday’s launch of JUUL e-cigarettes in the Philippine market, Dominguez said the product would have to undergo the “usual safety registrations.”
And once President Duterte signs the bill jacking up excise on cigarettes and related products, Dominguez said “e-cigarettes are already to be taxed.”
Congress had earlier approved higher levy on tobacco products, including new excise on heated tobacco and vapor products.
An excise of P10 would be slapped on a pack of heated tobacco products or e-cigarettes, which will then be followed by yearly hikes of 5 percent beginning 2021.
E-cigarette sales are currently excise-free. Vapor products, individual cartridges, refills, pods or containers of liquid solutions will be taxed P10 for every 10 milliliters, or a bigger P50 excise on top of P10 per additional 10 ml for those sold with volumes higher than 50 ml, in 2020.
Like e-cigarettes, excise for vapor products will increase by 5 percent annually starting 2021.
JUUL Labs claims to be the top-selling e-cigarette producer in the United States.
The Philippine launch immediately after its introduction in South Korea was part of JUUL Labs’ “[continuous] entry to the Asia-Pacific market as a next step in the company’s mission to help improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by offering a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes,” it said.
JUUL Labs said its partnership with JG Summit was aimed at making their e-cigarettes “available to Filipino adult smokers looking to switch from combustible cigarettes.”
According to the company, there are about 16 million smokers in the country.
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