On 29 September 2020 Italian Member of the European Parliament Danilo Oscar Lancini (ID)
raised a written question to the European Commission on ‘excise duty on ‘heat-not-burn’ (HNB) tobacco products.’
“On 22 May 2020, the Commission (Directorate-General for Competition) received a complaint concerning state aid granted by Italy to certain tobacco companies, consisting of an unjustified and selective reduction (-75 %) in excise duty on ‘heat-not-burn’ (HNB) tobacco products.
In addition, as can be seen from the complaint, because of a questionable choice made by the national legislator, these resources (estimated to account for some EUR 500 million per year) have been taken away from the ‘three-year plan for access to treatment for the most vulnerable persons’ (estimated at around EUR 1.2 billion), which had become a matter of even greater urgency because of the pandemic. This makes the tax break in question even more questionable and indefensible”, stated MEP Lancini.
The Italian parliamentarian added “It is already clear from an initial reading of the complaint how well founded it is, and that the case involves all aspects typical of state aid within the meaning of established Union case law. However, it would appear that so far nothing has been done by the Commission” before asking:
1. Does it intend to take action by looking into the complaint with the attention and diligence it deserves?
2. If it does not, can it explain why it does not consider it appropriate to take action?
Commissioner Vestageron replied on behalf of the European Commission
on 26 November stating that: “The question submitted by the Honourable Member refers to letters received by the Commission, to which the Commission replied in line with its standard procedures. The Commission services duly examined the information received. In the absence of elements showing a potential violation of State aid rules, the Commission services do not see grounds for action.”
Photo Credit : https://www.vapingpost.com/2016/11/09/what-you-need-to-know-about-heat-not-burn-cigarettes-hnb/