“We should ban online cigarettes, liquor, e-cigarettes and similar devices, if sellers are not registered and they don’t get profile of buyers and don’t assure if buyer is no longer a minor, and if there’s no standard compliance of those products,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a Viber message yesterday.
PPD/Toto Lozano, File
DTI backs sin products online sale ban if…
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines ? The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is supporting a move to ban the sale of cigarettes and liquor by unregistered online sellers.

“We should ban online cigarettes, liquor, e-cigarettes and similar devices, if sellers are not registered and they don’t get profile of buyers and don’t assure if buyer is no longer a minor, and if there’s no standard compliance of those products,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a Viber message yesterday. 

He said his agency is discussing with the Department of Finance (DOF) about setting up a system where an online selling platform will be registered with the DTI and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

He said sellers should be able to assure profiling of buyers and product standards. 

“These can be done by direct company online sales and major platforms that should be registered. Those that will get profiles of buyers. Outside this registered group, they must be banned,” he said. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez had earlier said the DOF might ban the sale of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages online to make sure these products are not sold to minors.

More Filipinos are also now purchasing products through digital platforms amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic. 

As long as sellers are registered, compliant to product standards and offering original products, they would be allowed to continue selling online, Lopez said.

“If it is allowed in brick and mortar, it must be allowed online,” he said. 

He added the government just wants to make sure all products sold are taxed and delivered only to buyers who are not minors.

He said the DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau, Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation would check online sellers if they are registered companies and platforms and if they check the age of buyers. 

“Online selling is the future. And it will provide added revenues also for the government because we make sure only registered and taxed products are being sold,” Lopez said.

DTI ONLINE SELLER
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