Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

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 on the liquid used to fill electronic cigarettes if these cigarettes are “used in a prescribed way to generate steam for inhalation.” (Id. art. 4.) The liquid is taxed at the rate of RSD4 (about US$0.04) per milliliter. The Law does not mention nicotine, nor does it require for taxation purposes that the e-cigarette filling liquid contain nicotine. (Id.)

The current applicable tax rate may soon change, however, because the Law requires the excise tax on the liquid to be correlated with the consumer price index as of January 2016. (Id. art. 12.) According to a section of the Law’s draft version setting forth the rationale for its adoption, the amount of the excise tax on the filling liquid was established based on the tax rate for regular cigarettes in Serbia, taking into account cigarettes’ current retail price and the potential savings for consumers who substitute tobacco-based smoking products with e-cigarettes. (Law on Amendments and Additions to the Excise Act, Proposal, at 7, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia website (last visited Aug. 1, 2015) (in Serbian).)

Serbian law does not establish a formal definition of electronic cigarettes and does not regulate any other areas related to them, such as production, sale, advertisement, use, etc. In the meantime, Serbian legislators are working on developing legislation that would address “novel (non-burning) tobacco products.” (Id.) These materials were added by the Law of June 26, 2015, to the list of other tobacco products subject to excise tax. (Law on Amendments and Additions to the Excise Act of the Republic of Serbia, art. 2.)