Russia Calls for Tougher Punishments for Smuggling E-Cigarette Vape Juice

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Russian Federation Council’s Economic Policy Committee proposes three to seven years of imprisonment for e-cigarette liquid smugglers.

According to a report from TASS, the economic policy committee of the Russian Federation Council has proposed imprisonment ranging from three to seven years for individuals involved in the smuggling of e-cigarette liquid.

Russian newspaper “News Report” cited information from a letter by a senator to Maxim Oreshkin, an aide to the Russian president.

E-cigarette liquid is being recommended to be included in the list of strategically important commodities. Apart from imprisonment, fines for smuggling strategically important commodities can go up to one million rubles.

Senator Andrey Kutepov emphasized to “News Bulletin” after signing this letter that all goods illegally imported from the Eurasian Economic Union are not considered as smuggling and are not covered by relevant provisions in Russian criminal law.

As a result, they have decided to include cigarettes and alcohol in the list of strategically important commodities by 2024, as the regulations for smuggling these goods also apply to cross-border trade. Kuzhebov strongly maintains that just like cigarettes, e-cigarette liquid also needs to be added to the list of strategically important commodities.

By 2024, the consumer tax on e-cigarette liquid is set to increase to 42 rubles per milliliter, reaching 44 rubles per milliliter in 2025 and further escalating to 46 rubles per milliliter in 2026. Currently, the tax rate stands at 20 rubles per milliliter.

Kubatbek Kojubayev stated that “when the consumption tax doubles and import permits are put in place for third countries starting from 2024, the main illegal goods will directly shift to the open borders with Kazakhstan and to a lesser extent with Belarus.

The Ministry of Commerce’s press office informed The Gazette that they have not yet received the initiative from the Federal Commission of Russia.

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