In July this year, the South African government announced that it would impose an excise tax on e-cigarette products, which would come into effect on 1 January 2023, a proposal announced to the community and consulted on last year.
In response, the local e-cigarette industry has expressed discontent that if the government introduces a tax on e-cigarettes, it could deter smokers from switching from traditional tobacco to e-cigarettes to the detriment of smokers’ health. After all, e-cigarettes are a less harmful product than conventional tobacco.
Despite protests from e-cigarette businesses, the South African Treasury and Revenue Department are sticking to their e-cigarette tax proposal, which imposes an excise tax of 2.91 South African rands per milliliter. (1 South African rand is approximately RMB 0.397) on e-cigarette liquids.
Local e-cigarette businesses say that a high excise tax on e-cigarette products would affect the trade of legitimate tax-paying suppliers and even lead to job losses for those working in the industry.
The South African Treasury said the tax was necessary and legal and would help close regulatory loopholes.