Counting down to Jan enforcement, group urges govt to review tax hike on vape products

·2-min read
Rizani claimed the RM1.20 excise rate per millilitre of nicotine e-liquid is 'too high' and will burden manufacturers. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Rizani claimed the RM1.20 excise rate per millilitre of nicotine e-liquid is 'too high' and will burden manufacturers. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) today reiterated its call for the government to review the tax hike on vape products that will be imposed starting January 2022.

Its president Rizani Zakaria acknowledged there were benefits to regulating the industry and

taxing nicotine in vape products, adding that they were steps the group had sought.

However, Rizani claimed the RM1.20 excise rate per millilitre of nicotine e-liquid is “too high” and will burden manufacturers.

“In most countries, tax rates on vape e-liquids are low. For example, in European countries, the tax rate imposed is only between 0.10-0.20 Euros per ml,” he said in a statement.

He added that other countries like the UK and New Zealand do not even tax vape products, claiming that their governments recognise it as a tool to help smokers quit the habit.

He cautioned that setting the tax too high could prompt legitimate sellers to raise their prices, which could cause consumers to look for cheaper alternatives in the black market.

Rizani also urged the government to review its mechanisms in regulating vape and not compare it to tobacco products.

He said this is to ensure the vape industry remains competitive, pointing out that there were 3,300 small and medium businesses involved, which provides jobs for 15,000 employees.

“Vape is not a cigarette or a tobacco product and it has been proven to help smokers quit as it is a less harmful alternative. If regulations are not differentiated between vape products and tobacco, it will hamper smoking cessation efforts and will only benefit tobacco companies,” he said.

Again citing the UK and New Zealand as examples, he said the governments in those two countries imposed stricter rules on tobacco products but allowed some leeway for vape products.

The excise tax on all vape and e-cigarette products containing nicotine will take effect from January 1, 2022.


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