BUSINESS

Tax takes toll on vaping market

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Business, Taxation

The growth in sales of electronic cigarettes in Greece has been curbed by the imposition of a tax on vapor products that comes to 0.10 euros per milliliter.

According to data compiled by leading Greek e-cigarette company Nobacco, the tax imposed on January 1, 2017 put a brake on the growth of the local market and pushed consumers toward contraband goods.

The tax of 10 cents/ml amounts to an average of 20 percent of the value of the vapor product. “If you include the value-added tax on the product’s final price, then almost 50 percent of it is taxes,” Nobacco chairman and chief executive Markos Markopoulos says.

He explains that the imposition of the tax has helped the illegal trade, which had remained at a tolerable level up until the end of 2016. “If the rate of contraband tobacco sales comes to 27 percent, for vaping merchandise it exceeds 50 percent,” he says. “This is probably the sole market where the illegal trade takes place inside stores, while illegal tobacco products are sold on sidewalks and in squares,” the Nobacco chief admits.

Last year’s total tax imposed on vaping products came to 4.5 million euros, with 2.2 million paid by Nobacco, although it knows it’s nowhere near controlling 50 percent of the market.

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