Trade chief backs ban of unregistered cigarette, alcohol online sellers


Posted at Jul 06 2020 12:44 PM

MANILA - Selling online of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and liquor by unregistered sellers should be banned to ensure minors will have no access to such goods, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday.

The Trade and Finance departments are working together to set up a system to ensure legitimacy of online sellers who can also assure profiling of buyers, Lopez said in a statement.

"We should ban online the cigarettes, liquor, e-cigarettes and similar devices... if sellers are not registered, don't get the profile of buyers, don't assure if a buyer is no longer a minor and if there’s no standard compliance of those products," Lopez said.

"These can be done by direct company online sales and major platforms that should be registered. Those that will get profiles of buyers. Outside these registered groups, they must be banned," he added.

Lopez assured legitimate businesses that they would be allowed to sell as long as their products comply with registration and tax laws.

The DOF and some lawmakers are eyeing to impose taxes on the digital economy, including giant firms such as Google, Netflix and Facebook. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) also earlier urged firms doing businesses online to register by July 31.