Philippines Intensifies Crackdown on Unregistered E-cigarette Sales with Tracking System

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Philippines Intensifies Crackdown on Unregistered E-cigarette Sales with Tracking System
BIR chief Romeo Lumagui Jr. announces crackdown on unregistered e-cigarette sales in the Philippines, plans to implement tracking system.

According to a report from Tribune on April 30th, Romeo Lumagui Jr., Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines, stated that the government is intensifying efforts to implement stamp and digital tracking systems to prevent the sale of unregistered e-cigarette products.


We expect to implement it before June, and we have also been working on procuring a digital tracking solution for anyone to check if these items are illegal.


This statement was released after the BIR confiscated thousands of unregistered e-cigarettes from suppliers with tax liabilities exceeding 1 billion pesos ($1,733,793). Lumagi stated that digital tools can assist the BIR in determining the size of the country's e-cigarette market and the total revenue lost by the government due to illegal e-cigarettes.


When it comes to e-cigarettes, we really don't know the extent of income loss, because this industry has not yet reached a relative level of maturity.


However, Lumagi stated that the local e-cigarette market appears to be growing, and BIR now lacks space to store the confiscated e-cigarette products. He also emphasized that BIR still needs to obtain legal authorization to dispose of seized e-cigarette products.


Luma emphasized that he hopes to achieve this goal in the first half of this year.


We can only handle cases that have not been filed in court. For those with court cases, the tax bureau is monitoring them as they filed e-cigarette disposal motions last year.


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