UAE gears up for next phase of digital tobacco tax

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The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has completed preparations for the second phase of the digital tax stamp system for tobacco products.

Initially, it only applied to cigarette packs but from November 1, the scheme will cover waterpipe tobacco and electronically-heated cigarette plugs as well.

These products are required to carry digital seals that track the items all the way from production to end-use.

It’s aimed at combating tax evasion and protecting consumers from commercial fraud.

"Starting from 1st March 2020, importing any type of waterpipe tobacco and electronically-heated cigarette plugs into the UAE without the Digital Tax Stamps will be strictly prohibited," said the FTA's Director-General, Khalid Ali Al Bustani.

"Following that, another ban will come into effect on 1st June 2020, this time affecting any supply, transfer, stockpiling, or circulating of unmarked waterpipe tobacco and electronically heated cigarette plugs in UAE markets," added Al Bustani.

Manufacturers and suppliers can access the digital tax system by placing a request through the FTA website.
 

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