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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Rule issues stricter laws on tracking cigs

27 Nov 2018. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), has announced that all tobacco companies that fail to comply with digital tracking laws would be at risk of being shut down in a statement, Gulf News reported.

The UAE will be enforcing digitally tracking of cigarettes, through the whole supply chain, starting 1 January 2019. This rule was made to prevent tax evasion and to ensure that tobacco companies comply with local tax laws, according to the report. All imported and locally produced cigarettes are subject to digital tracking.

In October 2017, a new 100 per cent excise tax on tobacco products was introduced, which led tobacco product prices to nearly double instantly in the UAE.

“The scheme establishes an integrated, accurate and effective control framework that supports its efforts to combat tax evasion, in collaboration with the relevant authorities … and maintain transparency in operations,” the FTA said in a statement.

In the statement, the FTA said that tobacco companies put themselves at risk of being totally banned from selling tobacco products “until full compliance is achieved.”