Last fact-checked 27 November 2020 | Report a factual error on this article
If you haven’t at least tried e-liquid from Malaysia or the US, you’re missing out! There are hundreds of overseas e-liquid manufacturers shipping vape juice to our shores every year, and we’ve sampled plenty.
Vaping literally opens up a whole world of flavour, and in this guide we’ll show you how! We’ll show you which countries make the best e-juice, explain the differences between each country’s e-juice, and share our thoughts on where the imported e-juice market will go in 2021 and beyond.
Vape juice is a combination of flavourings, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, manufactured in a sterile lab. It shouldn’t matter if an e-liquid is imported or not, but in our experience, country of origin makes a massive difference.
When you buy cheese, meat or wine from a specific part of the world, you expect the flavour to change based on local factors like soil quality, climate, altitude and so on. The same can’t be said for vape juice. Vape juice ingredients are the same wherever you are in the world, but the way ingredients are blended varies wildly depending on where it was made. Imported vape juice is a window on the flavour preferences of an entire culture!
We took a look at our top 50 best-selling e-liquids over the past 90 days, and sorted them by country of origin. What it showed us is that the e-liquid market is dominated by 3 countries: the USA (48%), Malaysia (28%), and our very own United Kingdom (24%) footnote 1:
Every nation’s e-liquid is designed to match the palate of the vapers in that particular country, and it shows in the final vape.
American E-Liquid Flavours are typically rich, creamy and dessert-themed. In the US, vapers are definitely not afraid of sweetness — in fact, they like to layer up a series of sweet flavours in one shortfill bottle. Just take a look at the top 3 best-selling USA-made e-liquids:
These flavours are very rich and bold, but they’re also complex and multi-layered. With a good USA-made e-liquid, you can close your eyes and feel like you’re in an authentic American diner or candy shop, enjoying a rich sundae! Shop our full range of USA Imported E-Liquid.
Malaysia is a tropical island paradise, so it’s no surprise that these e-liquids tend to blend fruity flavours. With Malaysian e-liquid, zingy, tropical tastes like Mango, Guava and Jackfruit meet refreshing sensations like fizzy lemonade and menthol, leaving the vaper with an irresistibly light and revitalising vape. Here are our top 3 Malaysian-made brands:
Most Malaysian flavours are fruity or aromatic, but in recent years some creamy pudding flavours have hit the market. Vanilla Custard by Monsta Vape is the most popular at the moment, but there are new flavours coming online all the time.
UK-made e-liquid flavours are fruity like Malaysian flavours, but they tend to feel more like the fruit salad in a summer picnic than something you would find in a tropical rainforest. If you’re looking for something that’s fruity, comfortable and not too sickly sweet, then a home-grown UK e-liquid brand could be perfect for you! Here are our most popular UK-made e-liquids:
These three countries dominate the best seller list, but they’re by no means the only nations making e-liquid. We have more than 2,000 different e-liquids for sale on our site, from all over the world, and they all offer something unique and delicious.
When the Brexit transition period ends on 1 January 2021, there’s a small chance that imported e-liquid might fall subject to a new customs tax, making imported e-liquid more expensive.
E-liquids coming in from outside the EU shouldn’t be impacted, but if e-liquids are shipped in via the EU, or if UK-manufactured e-liquid relies on raw materials from the EU, then prices might increase slightly.
Customs is a specialist field, so it’s hard to give an accurate answer here, but based on our research the import taxes on e-liquids coming into the UK from the EU will be at least 6.5% footnote 2. Our industry still doesn’t have 100% clarity from the government on whether there will be temporary exemptions, tax increases or anything else related to vaping when Brexit kicks in. As a precaution, we’ve increased our stockpiles.
We were lucky enough to attend the Hall of Vape exhibition in Hamburg before Covid struck, and we were blown away by what some of the EU-based e-liquid manufacturers are doing. There are some very exciting flavours coming out of Germany and Denmark at the moment, and we want to share these as soon as we can, regardless of Brexit! Whatever happens in 2021, we’ll do everything in our power to bring our customers the very best e-liquids on the market.
If you’re interested in learning more about imported e-liquid, the best thing you can do is jump in and try a few different juices. You can do this with a Mystery Box, or you can just search for a country where the flavour profile appeals to you and go from there!
Stay safe and happy vaping!
- John Boughey
Links & Citations
The best selling e-liquid rankings shown here cover the past 90 days at time of publication (29 August to 26 November 2020) and are ranked by quantity sold (unit sales, not liquid volume), per nation.
Customs is a complex specialist area, and post-Brexit tariffs are still subject to negotiation at time of publication (27 Nov 2020). There isn’t a single simple ‘e-liquid’ customs category (also known as an HS code) that every e-liquid falls under — some may be coded according to their ingredients, or even the packaging that the e-liquid is transported and sold in. The 6.5% figure we’ve used here is for HS code 3824995600, which covers some e-cigarette cartridges, refills and liquids (specifics are visible at the link below):
Credit for this image goes to the Hall of Vape exhibition organisers — you can find the original image at the link below: