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Australia bans e-cigarette imports

Time: 2024-05-20

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Australia's e-cigarette imports from China have dropped significantly, from more than 50 million U.S. dollars per month to more than 1 million U.S. dollars...

Starting from January 2024, Australia has officially implemented a policy banning the import of disposable e-cigarettes. This is not the first time the country has tried to ban imports, but previous measures have not had the desired effect. However, this time is different.



According to data on China’s e-cigarette exports to Australia, Australia’s import restrictions have had a significant effect.




Judging from the data, since January 2024, China’s e-cigarette exports to Australia have plummeted to about US$3 million. In the next two months, the export value continued to decline, and by March 2024, the export value was only US$1 million.




Compared with the situation before the import ban was implemented, China's e-cigarette exports to Australia once stabilized at more than 10 million US dollars. One month before the ban was implemented, the export volume even reached US$53.23 million.




In March, China exported e-cigarettes to Australia for about US$1.14 million, a month-on-month decrease of 55.35%.

Cartography: Two Firsts



How did Australia succeed in this implementation? Additionally, what is the current e-cigarette shipment situation in the country?





Regulators work together internally and externally to crack down on e-cigarette imports




Since Australia implemented a ban on the import of disposable e-cigarettes in January 2024, the country's Border Force (ABF) has not only strengthened border supervision, but also adopted a proactive strategy in order to fundamentally solve the problem of illegal import of e-cigarettes. .




On May 6, ABF Deputy Director Fitzgerald led a delegation to visit the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration of China, and then held strategic talks with local partner agencies in South Korea on May 14. During the meeting, ABF Commissioner Michael Outland discussed with representatives of the Korean Customs Service (KCS) and the Korean Coast Guard (KCG) how to jointly combat the import of illegal e-cigarettes and drugs, strengthen information sharing, and promote the modernization of border security. Topics were discussed in depth.




Given that China is the world's largest exporter of e-cigarettes, and South Korea is a key node for the transshipment of some e-cigarettes, this series of actions by ABF is obviously to strengthen the control of e-cigarette imports at the source, so as to effectively implement Australia's import ban.




In addition, while Australia is visiting foreign countries, it is also increasing its efforts to combat smuggling within its borders. On April 23, the Australian police achieved a major law enforcement result in the West Melbourne area and seized 500,000 e-cigarette products worth up to 15 million Australian dollars, making it the largest e-cigarette seizure in the country.




Pictures of the scene released by the police showed that the packaging of these seized e-cigarette products were printed with the logos of many well-known brands such as IGET, HQD, and GUNNPOD. These brands were all well-known brands in the Australian market.





According to an insider in the e-cigarette logistics industry, Australia's strict control over e-cigarette imports has caused many manufacturers to face difficulties in exporting goods smoothly.




Although exports are blocked, market demand is still strong. Two Supremes searched on Google and found that many Australian online e-cigarette stores are still operating.




This has prompted a sharp rise in e-cigarette shipping costs in Australia. At present, the transportation cost of e-cigarettes from China to Australia has soared from the original 40 yuan/kg to 300 yuan/kg, an increase of nearly 10 times.




The person familiar with the matter further revealed that in fact, the transportation cost to Australia itself has not increased, and the basic cost is only about 40 yuan/kg. However, shipping to Australia is notoriously risky – once the goods are detained by customs, the damage can be severe. As a result, transportation costs have increased significantly.




Obviously, the increase in freight costs is not simply caused by rising transportation costs, but is driven by the market's assessment of risks and expectations of potential losses.



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