A digitalized seal on cigarette packs will help monitor this...
27 December 2018| Last updated on 31 March 2019
Bad news for cigarette smokers in the UAE
The UAE will ban the import and sale of cigarettes without a new digitalized seal in the country, announced The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Wednesday.
In efforts to monitor and control cigarettes in the country, reduce cigarette smuggling and VAT evasion in the UAE.
Cigarette brands are expected to comply with these new laws as of May 1, 2019.
And packets found without the digital stamp will be banned starting from August 1, 2019.
While cigarettes are the first items on the list – it will continue to add more tobacco products that will need to be regulated within the upcoming months.
How does it work?
These digital stamps will help regulate the import and sale of cigarettes in the UAE with the help of a special device that can read the electronic information attached to each tobacco pack.
To regulate and protect the public in the UAE from unapproved cigarettes, any manufacturer or importers of cigarettes in the country must add these digital seals by May of next year.
If found not complying with the new regulations, they will face harsh consequences and penalties.
The UAE is also added more and more regulations on tobacco in efforts to reduce the number of smokers in the country’s population as it is extremely harmful.
In the beginning of 2018, with the introduction of TAX in the UAE, 100% VAT was added on tobacco products and according to officials, this has helped reduce smoking.
These new digital seals will help authorities understand and analyze the origins of the imported cigarettes as some importers or smugglers may manipulate the documents and alter the origin.
Other manufacturers were found to produce cheap whites in the UAE’s free zones without adding the health information.