UAE set to launch scheme to combat cigarette tax evasion

A scheme to digitally track all cigarette products to guarantee compliance with excise tax requirements in the UAE will be launched at the start of 2019
UAE set to launch scheme to combat cigarette tax evasion
The digital tracking from production until they reach the end-consumer will combat excise tax evasion. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
By Sam Bridge
Tue 27 Nov 2018 03:58 PM

A scheme to digitally track all cigarette products to guarantee full compliance with excise tax requirements in the UAE will be launched at the start of 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 states 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.

The tracking from production until they reach the end-consumer will combat excise tax evasion, the FTA said in a statement.

The FTA added that the scheme establishes an integrated, accurate and effective control framework that supports its efforts to combat tax violations.

The authority 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.

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

The decision states that as of May 1, 2019, it will not be permissible to import goods which do not have marks into the UAE and as of August 1, 2019, it will not be permissible to supply unmarked goods in the UAE.

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