New Import Regulation for New Tobacco Products

On March 22, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a public consultation on the Decision on the Amendment of the Regulations on the Implementation of the Tobacco Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft for Comments). It is proposed that the by-laws of the Tobacco Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China will be added to the by-laws: new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes shall be implemented in accordance with the relevant provisions of these Regulations on cigarettes.

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of e-cigarettes, according to the 2020 Global E-Cigarette Industry Report released by the E-cigarette Industry Committee of the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce. China’s e-cigarette exports to 132 countries around the world, the core driving force of the global e-cigarette industry, with Europe and the United States as the main export market, of which the United States is the largest consumer, accounting for 50% of the global share, followed by Europe, accounting for 35% of the global share.

In 2016-2018, China’s e-cigarette private enterprises sold a total of 65.1 billion yuan, of which total exports amounted to 52 billion yuan, an increase of 89.5% year-on-year;

According to the report, global retail sales of e-atomized cigarettes are estimated at $36.3 billion by 2020. Global retail sales were $33 billion, up 10 percent from 2019. China’s e-cigarette exports will be about 49.4 billion yuan ($7,559 million) in 2020, up 12.8 percent from 43.8 billion yuan in 2019.

The top six countries in the e-cigarette market are the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany. Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and South America are the new growth areas of the e-cigarette market.

China’s plan to introduce regulations on e-cigarette products is the first time that new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes are to be formally incorporated into China’s specialized legal regulatory system. After the formal implementation of the regulations, whether e-cigarette products refer to the norms of traditional cigarette products for import and export management is not clear, need to be clear rules of the relevant departments.