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Electronic Cigarette Import and Export Policy

Electronic Cigarette

Electronic Cigarette [eCigarette] – Import and Export Policy

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a notification to ban the import and export of e-cigarettes through notification No. 22/2015-2020 on 1st October 2019. The ban has been initiated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce. The prohibition shall be executed under Section 3 of the FT (D&R) Act, 1992 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-20.


An electronic cigarette, e-cigarette, or e-cig has been defined as a battery-operated device that lets users replicate the effects of cigarette smoking using an electronic device. The devices emit vaporized nicotine, but non-nicotine variants are also available. Import and export of such devices and their components have been banned in India by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.


The move to ban e-cigarettes and their trade was decided because these products may create severe health issues for vulnerable groups, including the youth and non-smokers. The products that are affected by the ban include:

  • e-Cigarettes
  • Electric nicotine delivery systems
  • Heat not Burn Products
  • e-Hookah
  • Any similar product that is not licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940

Manufacturing, importing, exporting, transportation, sales, distribution, storage, and advertisement of such products are also part of the ban.


Once the prohibition of e-cigarettes comes into effect, the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of e-cigarettes will no longer be allowed.

  • The activities mentioned above of e-cigarettes will be considered a cognizable offense in India. Online sales of e-cigarettes or their components will also be disallowed.
  • Breaking the law will lead to a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh or up to a year of imprisonment. This fine shall be applicable for the first offense.
  • The penalty will go up to Rs. 5 lakh for further offenses, and the imprisonment period can extend to 3 years.
  • Under the new rule, storing e-cigarettes will be punished with up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 50,000 or both.

All individuals or traders who have stocks of e-cigarettes will have to deposit and declare all e-cigarettes or their components to the police and submit all such products at the nearest police station. The regulation shall be made before the ordinance comes into effect.

Amendment in Import Policy

The policy for the import of electronic cigarettes under HS Code 8543 has been amended. It states that imports of electronic cigarettes or any components like refill pods, cartridges, and atomizers will not be allowed. Furthermore, the importance of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products such as e-Hookahs, and other products not licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act will not be allowed under Section 3 of FT (D&R) Act, 1992.

Amendment in Export Policy

The policy for the export of electronic cigarettes that includes e-cigarettes, refill pods, cartridges, and atomizers have been prohibited. All prohibited products that fall under Chapter 85 ITC (HS) code 8543 by the prohibition of electronic cigarettes and their parts are not permitted. All inventory currently held by exporters must be submitted to the nearest police station before the amendment goes into effect.

Import Export Code

The Import Export Code is a primary document necessary for commencing Import-export activities. The IE code is to be obtained for exporting or importing goods or services.IEC has numerous benefits for the growth of the business. Indeed, you cannot ignore the necessity of IE code registration, as it is mandatory. You can apply for an Import Export code through IndiaFilings and obtain it within 6 to 7 days.

For more details on the notifications, check below

Circular-No-35-2019/ e-Cigarette