DOF: Registered imported vapes can enter PH
With President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 160 in place, registered imported e-cigarettes can enter the country without a hitch.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Friday (Feb. 27) said EO 160 did not ban e-cigarettes per se, but prohibited the manufacture and sale of unregistered heated tobacco and vaping products.
“Thus, the manufacture, sale and importation thereof shall still be allowed subject to registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” Dominguez said.
EO 160 signed by Duterte last Feb. 26 also expanded the ban on cigarette smoking in public places to include vapes.
Dominguez had said Republic Act (RA) No. 11467, which slapped higher excise on alcoholic drinks, heated tobacco and vaping products, consequently allowed importation of vapes.
The Philippine unit of JUUL Labs earlier sought the Department of Finance’s (DOF) help after the President’s verbal ban on e-cigarettes led to a shortage of imported pods nationwide.
According to Dominguez, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will issue a memorandum order (CMO) “so importation can proceed and we can collect tax pursuant to the new law.”
Under RA 11467, salt nicotine vapor products such as JUUL’s must pay excise tax worth P37 per milliliter (mL) this year; P42 per mL in 2021; P47 in 2022; P52 in 2023; and increments of 5 percent yearly starting 2024.
Prior to RA 11467, liquid electronic cigarettes were taxed P10 per 10 mL.
Last January, JUUL said it no longer sold its vaping products to those aged 21 and also stopped selling flavored pods, both mandated by RA 11467.
Edited by TSB
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