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Poland could include tobacco-free heated products in tobacco regulation changes

Herbal heated sticks could be brought under the Polish Excise Duty Act definition of novel tobacco products if a proposal from the Ministry of Finance goes forward.

The country’s new government is looking to extend the definition of “innovative products” – which is how it defines novel tobacco products such as heated tobacco – to cover tobacco-free heated products that are gaining popularity in the Polish market. This is one of a number of changes to the country’s tobacco regulations currently being advanced.

According to the ministry, the change aims to eliminate excise tax avoidance currently happening through the method of replacing raw tobacco with various types of plant mixtures, such as herbal or hemp mixtures. “These products, often containing nicotine, are not subject to the excise duty under the current legal framework,” the ministry said.

The proposed modification relates to Article 2 Section 1 of the Excise Duty Act on “a mixture containing tobacco, dried tobacco or their substitutes, both with and without nicotine”. This means the proposed change in definition is only intended for tax purposes and would not apply to other areas of herbal heated stick regulation.

It could enter into force three months after the amended legislation is passed by the country’s parliament. If the amendment is passed, herbal heated products will also be covered by an excise duty of PLN377.01 (€88), plus 32.05% of the weighted average price of smoking tobacco.


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    The ministry said there will also need to be a “transitional solution” for products already in the market when the change enters into force, so that businesses can prepare for the new law.

    The proposed transitional provision to be included in the legislation states that any herbal heated stick inventory remaining with retailers that does not have an excise stamp, whether it was manufactured domestically or was imported before the act entered into force, must be stamped within three months of the law taking effect if it is to be sold in the country.

    Andrzej Domański, a member of parliament for the co-ruling Civic Coalition (Koalicja Obywatelska) alliance, currently serves as the country’s minister of finance. He is a close collaborator of prime minister Donald Tusk, the alliance’s leader, who has headed a coalition government since December 2023.

    The incumbent cabinet is supported by a parliamentary majority which holds 241 of the 460 seats in the Sejm (lower chamber). This indicates that the planned amendment is likely to be passed.

    – Jarosław Adamowski TobaccoIntelligence contributing writer

    Photo: Ostap Senyuk

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    This article was written by one of TobaccoIntelligence’s international correspondents. We currently employ more than 40 reporters around the world to cover individual nicotine markets.

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