Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue: The import of Vape raw materials must obtain a license

The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) now requires importers of vaping product raw materials to secure special permits for their shipments. This move aims to bring structure to a rapidly growing industry.

Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. of the BIR stated, “Given the proliferation of vaping products and its characterization as a ‘backyard industry’, we aim to regulate it properly. Importers will now need our approval before importing raw materials.\”

In a recent tax circular, the BIR specified that both manufacturers and importers of raw materials and equipment for heated tobacco and vape products must apply for import approval effective immediately.

Raw materials include but aren’t restricted to:

  • – Propylene glycol
  • – Vegetable glycerin
  • – Organic sweeteners
  • – Artificial flavors
  • Nicotine

Equipment encompasses mechanical or electrical heating elements, circuits, reservoirs, pods, tanks, modules, nozzles, and similar components.

Moreover, importers and manufacturers must secure an operating license. Addressing tax under-collection, largely from illicit tobacco, Commissioner Lumagui said, “We’re striving to reduce this 20% deficit. We aim to cut it by over 50% within a year and ultimately erase this gap.”

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