Friday, April 19, 2024

Experts: South Africa Should be Weary of Vape Tax


Imposing excise on vapor products in a country like South Africa could prove detrimental, instead encouraging the kind of illicit trade that was seen for contraband cigarettes during the Covid-19 hard lockdown, Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) has warned.

South Africa
Credit: Tim Johnson

The warning came from the Vaping Conversations series, hosted by VPASA, by Arshad Abba, a partner at management consultancy Quantum Logik Consulting and the lead on the 2018 Canback study on vaping and its economic impact in South Africa, according to an article in The Sunday World.

Abba was among the high-profile panel of speakers sharing the platform with moderator Dr Delon Human, co-chair of the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA), and fellow speaker Professor Donato Raponi, a freelance tax consultant and an honorary professor of European Tax Law at the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Fiscales in Brussels, Belgium. Raponi has been ranked several times among the 10 most influential people in the world in tax matters by the International Tax Review.

The final diginar for the year comes as the controversy around the impending Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (COTPENDS) Bill gathers force. Audience members included government stakeholders, parliamentary representatives and harm reduction advocates, among others.

Raponi, who has worked as an academic and in both the private and public sectors, presented a compelling narrative for the development of a tax framework for vapor products.

“A tax system should be stable but flexible enough to take into account future challenges,” he said, adding that government bodies needed a clear vision on questions such as what to tax, why they impose a tax, what they want to tax, how they tax, how they collect tax, and how the tax will be controlled.

“These points are especially important as the share of the market by vapor products is limited, meaning revenue from taxation would therefore also be limited,” he added.

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