The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines said it will require importers of raw materials for vaping products to seek special clearances to release their shipments.
The agency cited the need to impose order on an industry with many emerging players, according to media reports.
“For vape products, we are going to require them to (apply for) the authority to release imported goods for raw materials,” BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. said. “We are thinking of ways to regulate because there are so many vape products now. The production of vape products is a backyard industry, so we’re thinking of ways to regulate it.”
In its latest revenue memorandum circular, the BIR announced that it is now requiring importers or manufacturers of raw materials and equipment used to make heated-tobacco products and vapor products to apply for an authority to release imported goods.
“The raw materials specially used for the manufacture of heated-tobacco products and vapor products shall include but are not limited to propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, organic sweetener, artificial flavoring and nicotine,” the circular states.
Devices used for the manufacture of these products will also include but are not limited to mechanical or electric heating elements/atomizers, circuits, cartridges, reservoirs, pods, tanks, mods and mouthpieces.
Apart from the authority to release imported goods, importers and manufacturers must also apply for a permit to operate. Lumagui said that the BIR is working on addressing the shortfall from excise tax collections, which is mainly due to illicit tobacco.
“We’re targeting to minimize that 20 percent (shortfall). Within the year, we can cut that by more than half … ultimately, I want to make sure to fully resolve that shortfall,” he said.