Kazakhstan: New tax on heated tobacco products adopted in Parliament

On 11 July 2022 a new excise tax on heated tobacco products (HTPs) was approved in by the President of Kazakhstan, through the Tax Code 2022, in spite of the strong pressure posed by the tobacco industry on decision makers. The newly adopted measure had been reviewed and included recommendations of the Ministry of Health, the Secretariat of the WHO FCTC, the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative and the civil society.

In April 2022, the Ministry of Economy had received an initial proposal developed by Philip Morris International, suggesting a period of 10 years of special status for HTP products, as well as an excise rate that is 75% less than on cigarettes calculated by kg. The proposal also contained a specific definition for these products, which would have led to a unique status for HTPs in the national tobacco market.

During a country visit of senior delegates from WHO Headquarters and the Convention Secretariat in 25-27 May 2022, following the invitation of the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan, and with the presence of the civil society, the Government reconsidered its position on this matter. Thus, Parliament approved a new excise tax to be imposed on the sticks of HTPs, with a regular increase foreseen for the future, based per stick, and set at 70% of the excise rates of cigarettes. This new tax will enter into force since January 2023, and it is estimated that it will increase Government revenues by approximately 75 billion tenge already in 2024.

For more information, please, contact Ms Rosalina Yermekpaeva, WHO FCTC focal point, Ministry of Health (r.ermekpaeva@dsm.gov.kz) and Ms Jamilya Sadykova, National Coalition “For Kazakhstan Smoke Free” (nosmoke_kaz@mail.ru).