DOF: Only registered imported vapes can enter PH | Inquirer News

DOF: Only registered imported vapes can enter PH

CIGARETTE ALTERNATIVE A man uses a vape in a smoking area in Makati City. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — Registered imported electronic cigarettes can now enter the country without a hitch after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 160.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Friday noted that EO 160 did not ban e-cigarettes per se, but prohibited the manufacture and sale of unregistered heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes or vapes.


“Thus, the manufacture, sale, and importation thereof shall still be allowed subject to registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” Dominguez said.


EO 160 signed by Duterte on Feb. 26 also expanded the nationwide ban on cigarette smoking in enclosed public places and public conveyances to include vapes.

Dominguez had said Republic Act No. 11467, which slapped higher excise on alcoholic drinks, heated tobacco, and vaping products, consequently allowed the importation of vapes.

The Philippine unit of JUUL Labs earlier sought the Department of Finance’s (DOF) help after the President’s verbal ban on e-cigarettes led to a shortage of imported pods nationwide.

According to Dominguez, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) would issue a customs memorandum order (CMO) “so importation can proceed and we can collect taxes pursuant to the new law, which took effect on Jan. 27,” referring to RA 11467.

Under RA 11467, salt nicotine vapor products such as JUUL’s must pay an excise of P37 per milliliter (mL) this year; P42 per mL in 2021; P47 in 2022; P52 in 2023, and increments of 5 percent yearly starting 2024.

Prior to RA 11467, liquid electronic cigarettes were taxed P10 per 10 mL.


Last month, JUUL said it no longer sold its vaping products to those aged 21 and below and has stopped selling flavored pods, both mandated under RA 11467.

EO 160 amended EO 26 issued in 2017, which prohibited smoking in certain public places and regulated the access, advertisement and promotion of tobacco products.

“There is a need to regulate access to and use of ENDS/ENNDS (electronic nicotine/nonnicotine delivery systems), heated tobacco products (HTPs) and other novel tobacco products to address the serious and irreversible threat to public health, prevent the initiation of nonsmokers and the youth, and minimize health risks to both users and other parties exposed to emissions,” EO 106 read.

The directive cited a report from the Department of Health that “users and bystanders exposed to emissions from the use of e-cigarettes and other novel tobacco products are at risk of contracting respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, brain development retardation, cancer, and sexual and reproductive dysfunctions.”

Under EO 106, all e-liquids, solutions, refills and other similar components of ENDS/ENNDS and HTPs should be registered with the FDA.

All devices forming components of ENDS/ENNDS and HTPs will be subjected to standards imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the FDA, while other novel tobacco products will be similarly regulated by the Inter-Agency Committee-Tobacco.

In addition, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of the said products will now be required to secure a license to operate from the FDA.

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As to the entry and importation of unregistered or adulterated ENDS/ENNDS and HTPs, the FDA and the DTI will coordinate with the BOC to regulate the entry and importation of such products and components.

TAGS: Business, E-cigarette, Excise Tax, FDA, Juul, Local news, Nation, national news, News, Philippine news updates, Regulation, Smoking, Tax, vapes

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