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New Zealand: Draft Regulations on Plain Packaging of Cigarettes Released

(June 2, 2016) On May 31, 2016, the New Zealand Ministry of Health released draft regulations that would implement the Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill, which is currently being considered by the Parliament.  (Standardised Tobacco Products and Packaging Draft Regulations, Ministry of Health website (May 31, 2016); Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment […]

Sweden: Supreme Administrative Court Declares E-Cigarettes Not Medical Devices

(Feb. 26, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court issued a decision in which it found that e-cigarettes are not medical devices and therefore are not regulated by the Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency). (Supreme Administrative Court 2016-02-17 ref 1385-15 (Case 1385-15), download at Press Release, E-cigaretter är inte läkemedel (Feb. 17, 2016), […]

Italy: Comprehensive Legislation on the “Green Economy”

(Feb. 24, 2016) On December 28, 2015, Italy passed historic and wide-ranging legislation for the promotion of the “green economy.” Law No. 221 entered into effect on February 2, 2016.  (Law No. 221 of December 28, 2015, Provisions on the Environment to Promote the Green Economy and to Restrict the Excessive Use of Natural Resources […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Classifies Liquids for E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

(Feb. 23, 2016) On December 23, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) held that the nicotine-containing liquids used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) qualify as tobacco products and that their distribution and sale without a permit are therefore illegal. (BGH, Dec. 23, 2015, 2 StR 525/13, BGH website (in German).) According to the Court, it […]

Italy: Implementation of European Legislation on Tobacco Products

(Feb. 2, 2016) On January 12, 2016, Italy issued legislation implementing a European directive on the sale of tobacco and tobacco products; the new legislation will enter into effect on February 2, 2016. (Legislative Decree No. 6 of January 12, 2016, Implementing Directive 2014/40/EU (D.L. No. 6), GAZETTA UFFICIALE [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] No. 13 (Jan. 18, […]

Vietnam: Heavier Fines for Illegal E-Commerce Activities

(Dec. 14, 2015) A new decree issued by Vietnam’s government on November 19, 2015, amends several articles of a 2013 decree that imposes penalties for administrative violations in connection with commercial activities, the manufacture of and trading in counterfeit or banned goods, and the protection of consumers’ interests.  The new decree punishes various acts that […]

Germany: Parliament Debates E-Cigarettes Prohibition for Minors

(Dec. 9, 2015) On December 4, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit the sale to and consumption of electronic cigarettes and electronic shishas by children and adolescents under 18 years of age.  (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zum Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen vor den Gefahren des Konsums von elektronischen Zigaretten […]

Indonesia: Planned E-Cigarette Ban Controversial

(Aug. 19, 2015) Indonesia’s Trade Minister, Rachmat Gobel, announced on May 18, 2015, that the government planned to ban sales of electronic cigarettes due to concern about the health impact of smoking such products, also known as vaping. (Linda Yulisman, RI Bans E-Cigarettes on Health Concerns, JAKARTA POST (May 19, 2015).) According to the head […]

Italy: E-Cigarette Taxation Regime

(Aug. 10, 2015) On May 15, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Italy published a decision that invalidated a legal provision on the taxation of e-cigarettes. (Corte Costituzionale, Sentenza No. 83/2015 (Apr. 15, 2015), Constitutional Court website (in Italian).) The Court invalidated article 11(22) of Decree-Law No. 76, First Emergency Measures on the Promotion of Employment, […]

Serbia: E-Cigarette Taxation Introduced

(Aug. 3, 2015) On August 1, 2015, the Law on Amendments and Additions to the Excise Act of the Republic of Serbia of June 26, 2015, entered into force (SLUZBENI GLASNIK RS [official gazette], No. 55/2015, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia website (in Serbian)). The Law introduces an excise tax to be paid […]