1. Legalization of e-cigarette products in Egypt
The Egyptian vaping industry welcomes the decision of local authorities to allow the import and commercialization of vaping products. Smoking rates in Egypt are very high, and adult smokers are gradually switching from smoking to vaping as a way to quit smoking or reduce harm. The country is also known for counterfeit products, and the e-cigarette market is no exception.
The local sale, distribution and import of e-cigarettes has been banned since 2015, when the Ministry of Health issued a draconian measure based on a 2011 decision by the Technical Committee on Drugs. The ban has led to countless illegal vaping shops across the country selling e-cigarettes and their accessories, often smuggled into the country. Last year, the Industry Committee of Egypt's House of Representatives passed new legislation to ban local or global fake brands and products, imposing harsh penalties on producers.
As the ban was lifted, Egypt joined other Arab markets, including neighboring Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. RELX International, a leading player in the sector, wrote in a statement on April 24: “The lifting of the ban underscores the progressive approach of the Egyptian authorities to e-cigarettes, and by meeting the national legal age (adult) consumer’s interest in easy access to e-cigarettes demand for high-quality products, laying the foundation for the creation of a regulated market with substantial business opportunities.”
Robert Naouss, External Affairs Director for REXL International Middle East, North Africa and Europe, said: "The Egyptian authorities' decision reflects their commitment to supporting legitimate businesses in the country while combating the illicit trade in these products, in line with our growing presence in a growing number of global markets. observation."
2. South Africa plans to formulate new regulations for e-cigarettes
The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has recently established a National Technical Committee to develop new regulations on vaping products.
At present, the regulations for the production of e-cigarettes in South Africa are still blank, and SABS will develop guidelines and promote standardization in this field, covering e-cigarette products and their components.
The South African Bureau of Standards pointed out that the use of e-cigarettes is increasingly widespread in South Africa's recreational and economic activities. It is estimated that about 350,000 people in South Africa use e-cigarette products, and the sales of e-cigarettes in 2019 were 1.25 billion South African rand (1 South African rand is about 0.43 yuan).
3. The Malaysian government requires the sale of electronic cigarettes to be certified
Recently, the Malaysian government issued a decree on electronic cigarette products, requiring local manufacturers and importers of electronic cigarette equipment to obtain certification. Certified vaping devices need to be prominently marked "MS SIRIM" to demonstrate to consumers that the device meets safety standards and is safe to use.
The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs of Malaysia marked that the decree will take effect on August 3 this year, and manufacturers of electronic cigarette equipment that do not comply can be fined up to 200,000 ringgits (1 ringgit is about 1.5 yuan). fines of up to RM500,000. They said they hoped the decree would stop local manufacturers and importers from producing and selling low-quality vaping products domestically.
4. The Philippines bans flavored e-cigarettes
Recently, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration issued an electronic cigarette regulatory announcement stating that from May 25, 2022, the manufacture, trade, distribution, import, wholesale, retail and online retail/wholesale of flavored electronic cigarette products will no longer be allowed. Excluding tobacco or regular menthol flavors. This marks the Philippines as yet another country to ban flavored e-cigarettes.
5. Singapore Customs intercepts a batch of smuggled electronic cigarettes
According to Lianhe Zaobao, the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Bureau recently seized 3,200 electronic cigarettes and more than 17,000 electronic cigarette accessories, with a black market price of more than 130,000 Singapore dollars (about 630,000 yuan). Currently, four Malaysian men are assisting the investigation.
6. Thailand's parliament is reviewing new legislation to legalize e-cigarettes
According to foreign media reports, Thailand may follow in the footsteps of the Philippines in legalizing and regulating vaping products. Cigarette smoking is killing around 50,000 Thais each year, said Asa Saligupta, director of ENDS Cigarette Smoke (ECST) in Thailand, who believes the vaping bill will be passed by the Thai parliament this year.