New Delhi: The commerce ministry on Thursday said it has banned imports of electronic cigarettes and its components such as refill pods and e-Hookah.
The notification was issued to comply with the government's Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Exports, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Ordinance, 2019.
"Import of electronic cigarettes or any parts or components thereof such as refill pods, atomisers, cartridges including all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices by whatever name and shape, size or form it may have...is prohibited," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.
In 2018-19, India has imported these products worth USD 91.2 million. During April-July this fiscal, the imports stood at USD 58 million.
However, it said that the ban does not conclude any product licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
Last week, the government has issued an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes, making the production, import, export, transport, sale or advertisements of such alternative smoking devices a cognizable offence, attracting jail term and fine.
First time violators will face a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both, according to the ordinance.
The storage of e-cigarettes shall now be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or both.