Tracking the E-cigarette Trade

From: GAO WatchBlog


Up to 90% of electronic cigarette devices in the multi-billion-dollar U.S. e-cigarette market are imported, according to expert estimates.

But until recently, the federal government couldn’t determine the volume of e-cigarette imports because they were lumped together for tracking purposes with things like glow sticks and hand-held calorie counters. Starting January 1, 2016, there are new tracking codes for imported e-cigarettes. What does this mean? Today’s WatchBlog explores.

Decoding imports

Every product imported to the United States is assigned a numerical code with up to 10 digits. These statistical reporting numbers can be for a specific product or cover a “basket of goods.” The numbers help the government track and report trade statistics, such as how many of a particular item are being imported or how much tax revenue that imported item is generating.

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