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Italy Bans Online Distribution Of E-Liquid, Taxes Ingredients

Italy Bans Online Distribution Of E-Liquid, Taxes Ingredients

 

Italy Bans Online Distribution Of E-Liquid, Taxes Ingredients

Of all the European Union countries, Italy has established one of the most crushing tax policies so far as the vaping industry is concerned. Their latest laws have targeted e-liquid ingredients and sales, and online sale of e-liquids.


First, the country’s government adopted tax laws that targeted e-liquid refills to the point that juice is now more expensive than cigarette packs. Then, more recently, the government adopted new tax laws that tax the “inhalable liquids,” the ingredients in e-liquids, so that products can’t be reproduced at home and vapers can’t avoid taxes by mixing their own juices.


That law applies to propylene glycol and vegetable glyerin, the two most common bases of vape juice. Right now one liter of propylene glycol can be bought for around 20 euros, but once the new taxes are applied, the price is expected to skyrocket to 450 euros.


New Laws


As of January 1 all e-liquids are taxed an extra 0.37 euros per milliliter, which means that a 10 ml bottle of the cheapest e-liquid you can buy in Italy now costs 5-6 euro ($6 – $7.50) more than it did before. To put that in perspective, a pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs 5.20 euro while most 10-ml e-liquid bottles are double that price.


This jump in price has angered the local Italian vaping industry, who accuse the government of trying to keep smokers smoking traditional cigarettes.

“The State has decided that you must continue to smoke tobacco,” Gianluca Giorgetti, co-owner of the largest vaping business in Italy, recently told Il Fatto Quotidiano.


“By deciding to also tax water and flavorings, the price of e-liquid for consumers goes well past that of a pack of cigarettes. So while abroad vaping is recognized and incentivized as a means of reducing damage done by smoking, in Italy it is merely seen as a way of refreshing the coffers of the state.”


Italian Rules


Another part of the amendment pushed through last year by the Senate’s Budget Committee was a banishment of online sales of e-liquids from stores like Breazy, as have imports from foreign countries, on the grounds that they’re protecting consumers from inferior products.

The amendment also makes vaping products a state monopoly that can only be sold by tobacconists and specialized shops. Additionally, e-liquid producers will have to pay taxes retroactively, for the e-liquid they sold before the new tax came into effect.

Other newspapers report that Italian vapers are racing to stock up on any cheap e-liquids and ingredients they can find. However, after the amendment was adopted, the stocks for the e-liquid companies dried up and foreign imports are banned. That makes getting any e-liquid material nearly impossible.


We've seen disastrous laws like these come and go around the world, but this seems particularly onerous for Italian vapers. We can only hope that cooler heads will prevail before the national vaping industry is decimated.