UAE FTA launches smart app to help consumers detect non-compliant tobacco products
Users can install the 'FTA DTS' app on their smart phones via the Apple Store and Google Play.
Abu Dhabi - The app enables users to scan the stamps placed on tobacco products to verify and ensure that it is an authority accredited digital tax stamp
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched an innovative smart application that can be applied to check on the legality of trademarked tobacco products.
The smart application is designed to help consumers detect uncertified tobacco products by scanning the digital tax stamps placed on cigarette packages and tobacco products included in the 'Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme', which went into effect at the beginning of 2019. The application also aims to ensure that these products meet the standard specifications, are not smuggled, and have been subjected to tax.
The app is part of the FTA's on-going efforts to protect consumers from commercial fraud and combat tax evasion with various mechanisms and utilizing the latest technologies. Tax evasion and trade in inferior products and counterfeit goods are among the main challenges facing tax authorities around the world.
The authority said that the application has been instigated under the banner, "Monitor yourself, fight fraud", adding that users can install the app, known as 'FTA DTS', on their smart phones via the Apple Store and Google Play.
The FTA explained that the application enables consumers to scan the stamps placed on the tobacco packages or tobacco products to verify and ensure that it is an authority accredited digital tax stamp. Should the consumer discover that the stamps are not accredited, they can file a report to the FTA directly from the smart application. The authority will then cooperate with the relevant authorities to take legal actions against violators.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director general of the Federal Tax Authority, said: "The 'FTA DTS' smart application is one of the effective tools that support the 'Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme', which came into effect at the beginning of 2019 to combat tax evasion, protect public health and reduce the risks to consumers from the inferior products entering local markets. The FTA, through the new application, will offer consumers the opportunity to contribute to the control efforts aimed at protecting the markets from commercial fraud and inferior products, protecting public health, preserving the environment, promoting the concept of community partnership, and eliminating negative practices in local markets."
The initiative to launch the 'FTA DTS' smart application for consumers of tobacco and tobacco products is part of the FTA's effort to implement the Cabinet Decision No. (42) of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products. Phase one of the 'Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme' came into effect on January 1, 2019, on all types of imported and locally manufactured and traded tobacco products. On May 1, 2019, the FTA then issued a ban on importing all types of unmarked cigarette packets into the UAE. Following that, on August 1, 2019, the sale of tobacco products not bearing a DTS was banned across all local markets.