UAE customs tightens hold on illegal cigarette sales
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Customs Authority has further tightened its hold on the illegal sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products by issuing new guidelines to retailers of tobacco and tobacco products in the country.
The move follows the creation of the new Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Customs Union on January 1. As per the new tariff agreed upon in the GCC, the minimum duty of two Emirati dirhams ($.54) per pack of cigarettes must be reflected in the retail price of the product.
In addition, the retail price should include a minimum mark-up of 90 fils per pack above the manufacturer invoice price and the trade margin; this means any cigarettes retailing below Dh 2.90 would be investigated, as the full duty may not have been paid.
“With the implementation of this act of the GCC Unified Customs Law, any retailer caught selling cigarettes below Dh 2.90 per pack could be investigated with the possibility of their stocks being confiscated and the retailer himself being prosecuted,” explained Director General of the Federal Customs Authority, Mohamed Kalifa Al-Mehairi.
He also pointed out that the launch of the GCC Unified Customs Law was meant to strengthen the financial and economic position of all GCC states. “We recognise that the benefits would only materialize if we implement the measure in its entirety. By working with governments and port authorities as well as industry partners, we feel that we are on target with this initiative and the intended benefits will surely follow,” he added. — (menareport.com)
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