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Parliament approves bill to increase local tax for HNB cigarettes

All Headlines 16:30 December 08, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's parliament passed a bill Friday to raise the local tax on heat-not-burn (HNB) tobacco products amid a dispute over whether they should be treated differently from conventional cigarettes.

The revision bill calls for increasing the local consumption tax rate for such products -- such as Phillip Morris' iQOS and British American Tobacco's Glo -- to 89 percent of the tax levied on ordinary cigarettes.

With the passage of the bill, the relevant tax for them is to rise to 897 won (US$0.827) per pack from the current 528 won.

Of the 255 lawmakers present, 214 voted for it, with 16 voting against and 25 abstaining.

Last month, the National Assembly passed a bill to raise the individual consumption tax for HNB tobacco products to 529 won from the previous 126 won.

Also on Friday, the Assembly approved a revision bill that calls for conducting research on faults beneath the Korean Peninsula as part of efforts to better handle earthquake risks.

The bill's passage came after a 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern city of Pohang last month, causing dozens of injuries and forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.

South Korea's parliament holds a plenary session at the main chamber of the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 8, 2017. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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