Raided Vape warehouses

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. reminds the public that the BIR requires all vape products sold in the local market to bear internal revenue stamps by June 1, 2024 under Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 59-2024. The BIR will now presume that any vape product not bearing BIR stamps to have not paid the required excise tax. Violators of the mandatory internal revenue stamps on vape products will result into the seizure of the illicit vape products and criminal cases against the businessmen and possessors of those illicit vape products.

Vape importers and manufacturers have been given the opportunity to order these internal revenue stamps since May 8, 2024.

“Internal Revenue Stamps on Vape Products are now mandatory. Violators will not only suffer the seizure of their illicit vape products, the businessmen and possessors of these illicit vape products will also face criminal cases. These illicit traders destroy our economy by endangering the livelihoods of millions of Filipinos working under the tobacco and vape industry. Informants against these illicit traders will be welcomed by the BIR” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

Raided Vape warehouses

Under Section 263 of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines, “The mere unexplained possession of articles subject to excise tax, the tax on which has not been paid in accordance with law, shall be punishable under the law.” This means that not only are the sellers of illicit vape products liable, those who help in the storing or warehousing of the same will also be liable. The buyers of vapes without internal revenue stamps will also be liable. They are all possessors of an illicit vape product.

Raided Vape warehouses

The consistent and strict monitoring of the BIR on vape and other tobacco products is in keeping with its commitment to the directive issued by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. to expand and strengthen the efforts of the BIR against smuggling of tobacco and vape products. The BIR commits to this whole of government approach against the proliferation of illicit tobacco and vape products. This call to action is timely given the change in consumption pattern where the use of vape products by minors is prevalent.

Raided Vape warehouses

The BIR raided vape warehouses in Manila in November 2022; a P1.2 billion criminal case was filed in December 2022. The BIR won this case earlier this year, and warrants of arrest have been issued. In March 2024, the BIR raided a warehouse in Laguna with illicit Flava vape products. Another set of illicit vape warehouses in Manila and Rizal were also raided by the BIR in the same month.

“Lahat ng vape na binebenta sa ating bansa ay dapat may internal revenue stamp. Wag po tayong bibili ng vape na walang stamp dahil ito po ay ilegal at maaring makasuhan ang makikitang gumagamit o may hawak nito. Wag din po tayong tumulong sa pagtatago ng mga ilegal na vape dahil kayo din ay makakasuhan. Kalaban po ng ating bansa ang ilegal na vape dahil sinisira nito ang isang industriya na nagbibigay ng trabaho sa milyun-milyong Pilipino” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

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