Shisha tobacco products to be tax marked from Q4 2019

DUBAI (Agencies): The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said on Sunday it planned to launch phase two of the “Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme” starting from the fourth quarter of 2019, expanding it to cover tobacco products used in shisha, be they imported or produced and distributed locally.

The scheme is already in force on cigarettes, allowing for electronically tracking them from production and until they reach the end consumer, in order to ensure full compliance with Excise Tax laws on tobacco and tobacco products, according to the FTA. The scheme intends to combat tax evasion and manipulation, they added.

The scheme’s first phase came into effect on January 1, 2019, covering all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. The digital marks were made available to producers and importers of all kinds of cigarettes to place on cigarette packs before they leave the factory to local markets, which allows them to ensure due Excise Tax has been paid.  As of May 1, 2019, the import of any type of cigarettes into the UAE not bearing the digital marks will be prohibited; meanwhile, the sale of cigarettes packs not bearing the marks will be prohibited across UAE markets as of August 2019.