That was to be expected ! According to some sources, this week, European Union countries should ask the Commission to amend the tobacco directive so that e-cigarettes, vaping products and heated tobacco products can be taxed in the same way as the tobacco. Such a decision could put a real brake on the vaping market and on the fight against smoking ...
Although expected, it would be very bad news if vaping were to be taxed in the European Union. This week, the countries of the European Union will ask the Commission to modify the 2014 tobacco directive so that vaping products are taxed like traditional tobacco products.
« The current provisions of Directive 2011/64 / EU have become less effective, as they are no longer sufficient or too precise to meet the current and future challenges of certain products, such as liquids for electronic cigarettes, tobacco products. heated and other new generations of products entering the market Indicates a draft conclusion of the Council of the EU.
« There is therefore an urgent and necessary need to improve the EU legislative framework, in order to meet the current and future challenges posed by the functioning of the internal market, by harmonizing the definitions and the tax system of [these] new products - including those who replace tobacco, whether or not it contains nicotine, to avoid legal vagueness and regulatory disparities within the EU “, Supports the document.
The Council conclusions are due to be approved on Wednesday at a meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper II). The member states also invite the European executive to present a legislative proposal to the Council of the European Union, with the aim of " resolve, where appropriate, the concerns set out in these conclusions ».
Although new products are regulated by the Tobacco Directive, which focuses on the health aspect, no European legal framework currently exists to tax these, as is the case for traditional products. The Single Market is quite fragmented in this area: some Member States tax e-liquids and heated tobacco products at different rates, while others do not tax them at all.
"A LACK OF HARMONIZATION COULD BE PREJUDICE TO THE INTERNAL MARKET"
In January 2018, for lack of data on the subject, the Commission was careful not to propose a legislative framework to harmonize indirect taxes on e-cigarettes and other new products. Yet two years later, in February 2020, the European executive released a report suggesting that this lack of harmonization could harm the internal market.
The development of e-cigarettes has accelerated, as has that of heated tobacco products, and new items that contain nicotine or cannabis are entering the market, said the report: The current lack of harmonization of the tax regime for these products also limits the monitoring of their development on the market and the control of their circulation. ».
The tobacco industry and many independent studies claim that vaping products significantly reduce health risks compared to traditional tobacco and should therefore be treated accordingly. Despite this, European Union policy makers insist that these products remain harmful, which is why they are taking a cautious approach.
The decisions that will be taken in the coming weeks could decide the future of vaping in the European Union and more particularly in France where no specific tax exists today.
Source : Euractiv.fr/