A new bill introduced by the German Government proposes to dramatically increase taxes on e-liquids.
If it passes, nicotine e-liquids will almost triple in price while traditional cigarettes will only be moderately raised.
According to the bill, the Changes to the ‘tobacco tax model’ would be introduced from January 1, 2022.
The German government has been considering tax increases and new advertising laws for vaping companies in the past year in a bid to regulate the industry.
This is the first proposed tobacco tax increase in the country for six years.
The bill will have its first reading in the Bundestag at the start of May.
It will go to a final vote from parliament in the last week of the legislative period in the end of June.
Michael Llandl of the World Vapers’ Alliance warned that the move would open the door for back market activity and have catastrophic effects on the industry.
Speaking after the announcement, Landl commented:
“The government says that these taxes will improve public health, but the reality is the exact opposite.
“As a less harmful alternative, vaping must be more affordable than smoking, to encourage smokers to quit.
“If Governments want to reduce the burden of smoking on public health, they must make vaping more affordable and more accessible, not less.”
Landl added that, in addition to the Liberal and Green opposition parties, the Germany Police union had publicly voiced their opposition to the tax increase, stating that they would create a ‘startup for smugglers and counterfeiters.’
The Germany customs union, BDZ echoes these concerns.
A spokesperson for the union said:
“Due to the considerable tax burden on, for example, liquids, a black market for tax avoidance will inevitably develop”
Landl also commented that the lower income groups would be hit hardest by the tax increases.
“Either the government is neglecting the rules of economics, or they think they can fill a gap in the state coffers in the short term at the expense of people who want to quit smoking. This bill must be stopped”