Chinese customs seizes smuggled American e-liquid

So how many 30 mL bottles will 600 metric tons fill?


Customs agents in China have confiscated 600 metric tons (1.3 million pounds) of e-liquid being smuggled into the country from the United States.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua is reporting that the product has a value of about $44 million (300 million yuan). Twenty people have been placed under “criminal detention” after the seizure.

The story has very little detail about what was seized, describing it only as “electronic cigarette oil,” which could mean that it’s PG or VG or finished e-liquid. But the $44 million figure would seem to indicate something more than PG or VG in the containers.

The customs seizure was a massive operation, with 320 police raiding four separate companies, described as being based in Shenzhen and Xiamen, and supplying “the majority of the e-cigarette oil in the Chinese market.”

That information came from Zhou Bin, head of Gongbei Customs Office, according to Xinhua. Zhou told the news agency that Chinese e-cigarette sales have grown 300 percent annually ”in recent years.”

He also said that most of the e-liquid sold in China is imported. That itself is interesting, considering that both e-cigarette and e-liquid production originated in China, and there are still major e-liquid producers like Hangsen and Dekang operating in the country.

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.
  • Eric Wetzel

    What is this a thing? Why is imported ejuice illegal?

    • Jim McDonald

      Good question. I suspect it’s not that it’s illegal, but that the importers were trying to bring the product in without paying duties or taxes.

      • Jim Bacon Hill


    • Andrew Alexander

      I think that its a lot like the Philippines and that while manufacturing of the hardware and liquid is fine in China. The sale of the product in China is not and it would be easier and safer to smuggle the product from the US than to try make and sell stock under the radar in china.

  • Robert Fairrington

    This could turn out interesting. To the best of my knowledge there are no “legal” ways to import E-liquid into China. We will have to see how this goes in the next couple of weeks to see if this is China signaling a change in policy or just sending a message to everyone.

  • Darren Bentley

    Or it could be the new Eliquids like CBD or tincture mixes thats only sold in USA