According to the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (MVCC), the current raised vape tax rate needs to be looked into and distinct from the tax charged on tobacco cigarettes.
Recently, the local government declared a 200% rise in vape tax that was effected at RM1.20 for every milliliter (ml) on electronic liquids containing nicotine and those without. The opinion of the majority of the stakeholders in the industry, more so, manufacturers is that the tax is so exorbitant and it will have a huge impact on them. This would then hit the consumers hard as prices will have to go up.
According to Ashraf Rozali, the head of information at MVCC, manufacturers do not have any other option but to raise the product prices since the new tax rates are equal to the current vape products’ retail prices. For instance, a tax of RM36 will be charged on every 30ml e-liquid bottle. Following the rate, the vape e-liquids will retail at approximately double the current price for each 30ml bottle.
Rozali went ahead to state that even though the industry was in solidarity with fair regulations in the vape, there should be a distinction between it and tobacco products. Again, he added that industry players such as manufacturers, retailers, as well as final-consumers, should raise their voices and take part in the process.
Rozali retaliated that the time was ripe for industry members, including consumers and manufacturers, to demonstrate their support and take part in their efforts aimed at advocating for the vape industry, more so in steps to support regulations and taxation. “We are aware that most individuals are reluctant when it comes to showing their support of the industry. However, we have to appreciate the role of the industry, which consists of thousands of Bumiputera proprietors and earns millions of ringgit annually. The time is right for us to show up and avoid hiding behind the scenes,” stated Rozali.
The “Malaysian Perspectives and Insights Regarding Vape” report
According to 2021 data, 80 percent of Malaysians, supports the regulation of the local vape industry by the government. The Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC), earlier during the year, had asked the Malaysian authorities to come up with necessary regulations on e-liquids containing nicotine. He stated that the move would impact the local economy positively since it would generate additional job opportunities and attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to the MVCC, during the launching of the Malaysian Vaping Industry report, the report findings revealed that over 3,300 businesses were connected to the vape industry in one way or another, employing over 15,000 people.
Syed Azaudin Syed Ahmad, the MVCC president, stated that the report findings indicated that the industry has a higher viability and growing sector in Malaysia, adding that it has expedited the growth of local entrepreneurs. “Additionally, the Malaysian vape industry now has a solid ecosystem consisting of manufacturers, retailers, importers, as well as a growing logistics and distribution network, “he stated.
In addition, the report by “Malaysian Insight and Perspectives on Vape” showed that the public’s opinion was the same. The survey which was conducted by the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) showed that 76 percent of those who took part believed that vape regulations would benefit the local economy.