Electronic cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes iStock

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Sunday evening signed an order placing a purchase tax on e-cigarette fluid and electronic cigarettes which cannot be refilled (disposable). The tax is equal in amount to that placed on other tobacco products.

The order is the result of a coordinated process by the Tax Authority and Health Ministry, and aims to reduce the consumption of electronic cigarettes, which raise the risk of heart disease and respiratory illnesses. It will take effect at midnight Monday morning.

Under the order, a tax of 270% of the wholesale price will be placed on refill fluid for electronic cigarettes, adding an additional 11.39 NIS to the per-milliliter purchase price, which will be no less than 21.81 NIS per milliliter of refill fluid. The tax on disposable cigarettes will stand at 360% of the wholesale price, and the final purchase price will be no less than 32.72 NIS per milliliter. The order also makes electronic cigarettes and their refill fluids an exception to the personal import exemption from purchase tax for imports worth up to $75.

The order limits the amount of electronic cigarettes and refill fluid allowed to be imported from abroad without paying purchase tax. These amounts are similar to the number of regular cigarettes which may be brought into Israel without paying tax. Those who remained abroad for less than five days will be able to bring in up to four milliliters of refill fluid and no more than two disposable cigarettes, while those who spent more than five days abroad will be able to bring in up to 10 milliliters of refill fluid and no more than five disposable cigarettes. These limits will take effect within two months of the order being signed.

In addition, the order places a tax of one shekel per milliliter of refill fluid and six shekels per disposable cigarette. However, it will only apply to supplies on which the tax already paid for them is over 10,000 shekel.

The move is the latest in a process which has already equated the taxes on tobacco to be heated and rolled tobacco to the taxes on regular cigarettes, and reflects the goal of a uniform tax on all tobacco products, the statement said.