|A GROUP of business owners have called for the scrapping of a 100 per cent tax on vape juice.
The request was made yesterday during crucial talks held between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry to discuss a wide range of obstacles facing the sector.
During the meeting, chaired by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani, the group of vape store owners highlighted the impact the excise tax, which was enforced without any notice earlier this month, has had on local businesses.
“Vape shops are feeling the heat since the excise tax on vape juice was introduced and we continue to resist any increase in price that will affect our customers,” one businessman, who attended the meeting, told the GDN on the condition of anonymity.
“The minister was supportive of the future of vape industry and its economic potential in Bahrain and encouraged to start manufacturing the base of vape juices in Bahrain considering we are already a distribution hub in the region.
“The minister has assured us that the issue will be discussed with ministries concerned, and we are now waiting for positive news.”
The delegation of business owners called to declassify vape as tobacco and to scrap the 100pc tax because it affected local businesses.
The GDN reported that the excise tax was implemented on July 4 after many owners of vape shops were informed by custom authorities they needed to pay the tax in order to release their consignments.
The Finance Ministry has posted a detailed list of items included under the tax, which in December had over 900 items and now has 3,631 items following the inclusion of vape juices.
It mentioned the products as “harmful to human health and to the environment”.
The tax on vape juice is applied at 100pc on retail price similar to tobacco products.
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