UAE Announces New Tobacco Tax Collection System for January 2019

Published November 29th, 2018 - 05:32 GMT
As of January 1, 2019, the marks will be made available for importers or producers of designated excise goods, including cigarettes, to purchase and place on their products, indicating that due taxes have been settled. (Shutterstock)
As of January 1, 2019, the marks will be made available for importers or producers of designated excise goods, including cigarettes, to purchase and place on their products, indicating that due taxes have been settled. (Shutterstock)

A scheme to digitally track all cigarette products to guarantee compliance with excise tax requirements in the UAE will be launched on January 1, 2019.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), issued a decision regarding the implementation of the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme.

The decision stated that the scheme will go into effect on January 1, 2019, affecting all types of cigarettes sold locally - whether imported or locally produced - with plans to gradually expand the scheme to include all tobacco products. They will be digitally tracked, from production until they reach the end-consumer. This will help comply with excise tax requirements on tobacco products.

The FTA stressed the need for tobacco suppliers to abide by the scheme in order to avoid penalties, which could include being banned from trading until full compliance is achieved.

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Marks will be placed on the packaging of tobacco products and registered in the FTA's database; they contain data that can be read using special devices.

As of January 1, 2019, the marks will be made available for importers or producers of designated excise goods, including cigarettes, to purchase and place on their products, indicating that due taxes have been settled.

As of May 1, 2019, it will not be permissible to import designated excise goods which do not have marks into the UAE. As of August 1, 2019, it will not be permissible to supply designated excise goods which do not have marks in the UAE.


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