South Africa e-cigarette tax on products with or without nicotine took effect on the 1st of June, 2023 and it’s fast becoming the talk of town.
The tax was imposed at a rate of 2.90 South African rands (about $0.15) per millilitre on all e-liquids.
Despite all of the vaping industry’s efforts to stop this tax from going through, it finally took effect on June 1.
According to calculations, a 60ml bottle of vape will be taxed at a rate of R174, the effect of which could exponentially raise the consumer price of many vale products.
Although the imposition is generating a lot of powerful reactions from both consumers and manufacturers, the development doesn’t come as a surprise as the idea was initially proposed by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana during his budget speech back in February 2022.
South Africa E-Cigarette Tax: E-vape Products Taxed Before Regulated
The South African government seems to be more interested in taxing e-vape products than in passing laws to regulate them.
According to Activist Kurt Yeo, founder of the organisation “Vaping Saved My Life”, the government should have worked on regulating the e-vaping industry before attempting to tax it.
He mentioned that their failure to recognize these products in law before taxing them was one of the reasons they faced a lot of resistance when they introduced the tax.
Yeo continued that the South African Bureau of Standards had previously invited his organisation and other significant industry players to be a part of a committee that would develop a standard for e-liquids, and they had considered using the British Standard, which is considered the gold standard currently in the world.
There is the Tobacco Products and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Control Bill which is supposed to add e-cigarette products to South Africa’s existing tobacco control laws but it has been on the agenda since 2018 and hasn’t passed yet.
If the bill ever passes, it is supposed to enforce smoking restrictions on e-cigarettes.
Adverse Effects Of The Tax
Indignant industry role players have warned of the devastating effects that this development will have on the industry.
According to Yeo, the imposition of the tax would wreak havoc on many businesses as most vape shop owners will barely be able to keep their shop open not to talk of pay their staff.
He continued that the development would also force vapers who had initially quit smoking to relapse and revert to taking cheap cigarettes.
Additionally, the CEO of the e-Cigarette Products Association of South Africa (VPASA), Asanda Gcoyi mentioned that the e-cigarette industry will probably lose a huge chunk of revenue and thousands of jobs will be lost.
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