No Import Duty On Nicotine-Containing Vape Liquid, 15% On Nicotine Gum

The Customs Duties Order 2022 comes into effect on June 1, 2022; nicotine gum is a medical product for smoking cessation.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 – The Customs Department is not imposing this year import or export duties on e-cigarette liquid or gel containing nicotine, despite the Health Ministry’s plans to regulate e-cigarettes to curb vaping.

Instead, bizarrely, the Customs Department is levying a 15 per cent import duty on nicotine chewing gum per kg – which is a smoking cessation tool – though none for the nicotine patch, another medical product used to help smokers quit.

According to the Customs Duties Order 2022 – which comes into operation on June 1 – that has been gazetted by the finance minister, pharmaceutical products are not subject to any import or export duties.

The nicotine gum and patch were placed in the tobacco and nicotine chapter together with cigarettes, tobacco, heated tobacco, and e-cigarettes, instead of the chapter on pharmaceutical products.

Products intended for inhalation without combustion, or heat-not-burn, containing tobacco or reconstituted tobacco are subject this year to a 5 per cent import duty and RM50 per kg.

Cigarettes, cigars, cheroots and cigarillos are taxed at RM200 import duty per kg, while other tobacco products, including unmanufactured tobacco, are mostly taxed at 5 per cent import duty and RM40 per kg.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is planning to table a Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill in Parliament this July that contains, among others, a proposal to prohibit cigarettes and vaping products for anyone born from January 1, 2005, touted as the “generation end game to smoking”.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry is separately mandating SIRIM certification and labelling for local manufacturers and importers of electronic cigarettes or vape devices from August 3 this year.

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