Electronic Cigarette Import and Export Policy
Electronic Cigarette [eCigarette] – Import and Export Policy
Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a notification to ban the import and export of e-cigarettes through the 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 ban shall be executed under Section 3 of 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 actual cigarette smoking using an electronic device. The devices emit vaporised 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 due to that these products may create severe health issues to vulnerable groups, including the youth and non-smokers. The products that are affected by the ban include:
- Electric nicotine delivery systems
- Heat not Burn Products
- Any similar product that is not licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
Manufacturing, importing, export, 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 as a cognisable offence in India. Online sale 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 or both. This fine shall be applicable for the first offence.
- For further offences, the penalty will go up to Rs. 5 lakh and the imprisonment period can extend to 3 years.
- Under the new rule, storing e-cigarettes will be punished with up to 6 months of 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 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 import of electronic cigarettes under HS Code 8543 has been amended and states that imports electronic cigarettes or any of its components like refill pods, cartridges, atomisers will not be allowed. Furthermore, the import 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, atomisers has been prohibited. All of the prohibited products that fall under Chapter 85 ITC (HS) code 8543 in accordance with the prohibition of electronic cigarettes and its parts is prohibited. All inventory currently held by exporters need to be submitted to the nearest police station before the amendment goes into effect.
For more details on the notifications, check below