The FDA is analysing changing the rules in order to apply the same rules for cigarettes manufactured with additives to premium handmade cigars and tobacco leaves.
Tobacco industry entrepreneurs from Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as the ambassadors of both countries to the United States, have expressed concern over the announcement that the FDA is preparing changes in regulation in order to treat cigars in the same way as cigarettes. If the measure is applied, the impact on the Central American tobacco industry would be felt significantly, because Nicaragua only exports 75% of its tobacco production to the northern country.
In order to finance the pension increases a new law will increases taxes on gambling and winnings from those games, and on non-metallic mining, and drinks and products derived from tobacco.
From a statement issued by the National Assembly:
The full National Assembly approved on its third reading, Bill 197, which establishes the legal framework to strengthen, preserve and sustain the finances of the Fund for Disability, Old Age and Death of the Social Security Department (CSS), allowing for pension increases.
The Executive is considering increasing taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages as an option for balancing the 2015 budget.
With the provisional suspension of the tax on telephone lines the Guatemalan government is left with a deficit $237 million, approximately, which is why it is looking at bridging the gap using new taxes on liquor and cigarettes, as the main alternative.
Up to 15% of the market in products such as cigarettes, liquor, drugs and footwear, is supplied with goods whose origins are illegal.
Added to the list of products that have traditionally been traded illegally, such as cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, there is an increasing tendency to smuggle medicines, shoes, clothing, and beauty and personal care products, among other things.
The activities of well-established smuggling networks have distorted the normal functioning of trade, having become an everyday part of life for a sector of the population.
The closure of Central Tabacalera SA (Tacasa), which may have been caused by increased cigarette smuggling, mainly in Panama, can be seen as one of the many consequences of the phenomenon of illegal entry of goods.
Tobacco leaf producers will still export to Europe and America, while the industry will decline at the same pace as the contraction of the domestic market.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports on Deloitte's study presented by British American Tobacco (BAT), which notes that "in 2011 there were 15.7 million kilos of tobacco leaf for export, which generated $52.8 million in foreign exchange according to statistics from the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat). This represents an increase of 79 percent in foreign exchange earnings from the year 2007, even though production declined in Guatemala .... there are 1.400 tobacco leaf producers who are located in Escuintla, San Marcos, Jutiapa Zacapa and who economically impact more than 165 thousand people (direct and indirect employment). "
The Pan American Health Organization denounced the continued interference by the tobacco industry in the passing of antismoking laws in the countries of the Americas.
Washington, D.C., 31 May 2012 (PAHO/WHO) - The tobacco industry continues to interfere with tobacco control policies in the Americas and these efforts have intensified since the 2005 entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This is one of the preliminary findings of a report by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), which will be examined today at the Organization’s headquarters.
The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has lifted president Funes 's veto of the law regulating the advertising, marketing and consumption of tobacco, and protecting non-smokers.
An article by Amadeo Cabrera in Prensagrafica.com reported that at the end of the vote and amid applause, the president of Congress, the president of the Assembly and the deputy of the FMLN Siegfried Reyes declared: "56 votes in favor, zero votes against, five abstentions. Therefore, legislative decree number 771, by which the Law on Tobacco Control was issued, has been ratified and should follow the process established by the Constitution. "
President Funes has vetoed a law intended to prohibit smoking in public places.
Inconvenient and detrimental to business is how President Funes categorized the law which had been adopted in the legislature of June 23.
According to Funes, the implementation of the regulation could affect economic activity in various sectors, both in the restrictions on commercialization and also those affecting to advertising and promotion.
The new proposal would establish a tax of $0.09 (Q0, 69) per gram.
The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Health and organizations against the use of tabaco.
“If the proposal is accepted we would be able to raise about $66 million a year”, said the congresswoman Zury Rios.
"The new estimate is higher than the target proposed by the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT), a government initiative to raise Q356 million ($ 46.8 million) a year on restoration of the tax." states an article in Prensalibre.com
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