Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 102 - Tobacco control measures [19664/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 102 - Tobacco control measures [19664/15]. (19 May 2015)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2015...

102. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm that the international tobacco industry will not be allowed to evade the taxation of cigarettes with new tobacco products such as heated tobacco cigarettes which it is actively developing and introducing to a number of new markets in Europe and elsewhere; his plans to ensure a co-ordinated Government response to the taxation of heated tobacco cigarettes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19664/15]


Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy will be aware, the tobacco industry has developed a number of novel tobacco products, which include heated tobacco products. At present the tax treatment of tobacco products is provided for in Directive 2011/64/EU (the 'Tobacco Products Tax Directive'), which harmonises the structures and definitions of tobacco products. Ireland has implemented this Directive through Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Finance Act 2005. The Tobacco Products Tax Directive does not, at this time, explicitly provide for heated tobacco products, given these products are relatively new.


I am aware that products such as these products have been placed on the market in continental Europe, and that the tax authorities of our fellow Member States have taken different approaches towards taxing such products, reflecting their view of which product definition such products fall under. These products have yet to enter the Irish market, and as such have not been presented to the Revenue Commissioners by importers for the payment of duty. While a determination has yet to be made by the Commissioners as to which product definition such products would fall under in our excise law, I am confident that the Tobacco Products Tax Directive and our own legislation will allow these products to be subject to a duty of excise.


Overall, I am of the opinion that the best way forward in dealing with this matter is at a EU level by providing a definition of heated tobacco products in the Tobacco Products Tax Directive.  I can inform the Deputy that the matter has been raised at EU level and officials from the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners are currently engaged in technical discussions with our European partners to examine the best possible way forward with regards to a harmonised definitions and tax treatment of these types of tobacco products.

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