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This highly informative article about a potentially upcoming taxation of e-Liquids I found on Facebook. It is a multi-author work and I was allowed by Udo Laschet to take it over here. Many thanks!
Taxation of e-cigarettes: The FCTC is still valid!
E-cigarettes / e-Liquids must not be classified as tobacco products or taxed on tobacco products.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Covention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is an international treaty that enables FCTC member countries to take measures to reduce tobacco consumption. This FCTC has been ratified by Germany and all other EU member states, and so the adopted EU Tobacco Product Directive clearly bears the hallmarks of the WHO and the FCTC with regard to tobacco prevention.
What does this have to do with the taxation of e-cigarettes and liquids?
Ms Mortler, the federal drug commissioner, recently called for e-cigarettes (or consumables) to be taxed in the same way as tobacco cigarettes. Now all we need to know is that the gradual, continuous adjustment of the tobacco tax on tobacco products is one of the measures that the FCTC allows its member countries to take to curb tobacco consumption: The more expensive the cigarette, the more dissuasive its purchase will be.
The tax on tobacco products is a so-called steering tax, the purpose of which is to redirect socially undesirable behaviour which, according to Article 2 of the Basic Law, cannot be prevented by the Federal Republic of Germany. If a matter is socially undesirable – i.e. harmful to society – it is taxed. Indications of “harmfulness to society” are an increased mortality of the individual (e.g. through tobacco or alcohol), or damage to the environment (e.g. with petrol).
As a ratified state treaty, the FCTC now acquires the force of law within the sphere of influence of the Basic Law for the FRG.
The FCTC enables the member states to restrict tobacco consumption or access to tobacco products in their own countries in other, sometimes arbitrary ways. Although e-cigarettes / e-liquids are not classified as tobacco products in the European Tobacco Products Directive, the FCTC’s handwriting can also be recognized here if one pays attention to the arbitrary quantity restriction of Liquid on sale (10 ml/p. E.) or the maximum dose of nicotine (20 ml/mg) in liquid. Tank sizes of a maximum of 2ml are also included, and explicitly do not concern the optional nicotine-containing consumable, but directly the hardware.
If political voices in the Federal Republic of Germany now begin to demand a tobacco tax / tax based on tobacco products for e-cigarettes / e-liquid (just as Mrs Mortler was allowed to do when she was sent to the front with such a demand as part of her task), one should exercise the utmost vigilance and caution.
Steamers will have to come to terms with a taxation of e-liquids or consumable nicotine in liquid per se at some point in the future; tax sovereignty lies with the state; this also applies to other luxury foods in general. But under no circumstances should it be acceptable for e-liquids or e-cigarettes to be taxed as a tobacco product / on the Basis of tobacco products. Because then the FCTC will take immediate effect, and the currently booming market for e-cigarettes, which has so far satisfied its consumers to the best of its ability (keyword: HWV), will have to submit to further arbitrary state influence, since the state claims the right to protection for its citizens.
It can be assumed that in the near future there will be no innovative developments available that can replace tobacco consumption, and that steamers will also be allowed to buy flavorless liquids.
Liquids without flavourings?
The ban on additives in tobacco cigarettes is one of the WHO’s ideas on tobacco control. If e-cigarettes / e-liquids could be classified as tobacco products, or if a right to such a classification could be derived, the right to treat e-cigarettes / e-liquids like tobacco products could also be derived!
The taxation of e-cigarettes and e-liquids can only take place in application of a law.
To this end, the proportionality of the law must be demonstrated for each law. If one wants to prove e-cigarettes / e-liquids with a tax incentive tax described above, it remains essential to prove that e-cigarettes / e-liquids are just as harmful as all other taxed products. This necessity is made necessary by the principle of proportionality and the prohibition of excessive use, which result from the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.
UL/VT, February 2015 – zur Erstveröffentlichung auf FB