FTA set to mark tobacco products in UAE from January 1

FTA set to mark tobacco products in UAE from January 1
From January 1, 2019, all types of cigarettes will be monitored to ensure compliance with the payment of excise tax.

abu dhabi - The scheme involves the electronic monitoring of all types of cigarettes to ensure compliance with tax payment

By Staff Report

Published: Thu 27 Dec 2018, 5:35 PM

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the completion of all preparations required to implement its 'Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products' scheme.

Entering into effect on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the scheme involves the electronic monitoring of all types of imported, produced and locally-traded cigarettes, from production to consumer, to ensure full compliance with payment of excise tax. It will be gradually extended to cover all tobacco products.

In a statement, the FTA stressed the need for tobacco suppliers to comply with the regulations to avoid being penalised and prevented from practising their duties until they comply fully with the system, which supports inspection and control at customs outlets and markets to prevent the sale of contraband products and that have not met their due tax.

The monitoring of the tobacco products will be facilitated by a stamp (digital seal) which will be installed on their packaging and registered in the FTA database. This stamp will include electronically-recorded information that can be read by a special device through which the payment of the tax on these products is verified.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general of the FTA, said that as of January 1, 2019, the marking will be issued for purchase orders by manufacturers and importers of all types of cigarettes. They will be required to apply for the digital stamps from the operator of the scheme, as approved by the authority, for installation on the tobacco packaging before the products leave the factory to ensure the payment of excise tax on tobacco products sold throughout the UAE.

He also pointed out that as of May 1, 2019, the import of all kinds of cigarettes to the country without the digital stamps will be banned. From August 1, 2019, all types of cigarettes that do not carry the stamp will not be allowed to be sold or traded in the UAE, with retail stores banned from selling cigarettes that do not have the digital stamps.

He explained that according to the Cabinet Decision No 42 of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products, a penalty will be levied on any person who trades or carries specified excise products that are not marked with a digital seal.

"This step comes in implementation of the authority decision No. [3] for the year 2018," Al Bustani said.

- business@khaleejtimes.com

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