Dubai: The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced that the sale or distribution of any unmarked tobacco products will be prohibited across all local markets from August 1, 2019.
In a press statement, the authority said that it held a series of training workshops to introduce inspectors across the UAE’s economic development departments on the objectives and implementation methods to apply as per the ‘Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme’, which went into effect in January 2019.
According to the FTA statement, the workshops seek to ensure preparedness before carrying out inspection campaigns to verify that the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme is being implemented.
The Authority noted that the sessions are part of the FTA’s effort to raise awareness of the tax system among relevant authorities and entities to combat tax evasion and better monitor markets.
FTA Director-General, Khalid Ali Al Bustani, underlined the importance of these courses to the successful implementation of the scheme, which facilitates inspections and strengthens market control procedures to prevent the sale of non-tax-compliant products.
“Digital marks will be placed on the packaging of tobacco products and registered in the FTA database; the marks contain data that can be read using a sophisticated device,” he explained, adding that the new training workshops are part of the Authority’s commitment to maintaining constant communication with all relevant government and private-sector entities to keep them in the loop with developments surrounding tax procedures and gauge their opinions and suggestions to ensure the UAE tax system is implemented easily and seamlessly.
During the workshops, FTA representatives shed light on the legislation and resolutions pertaining to the scheme, including the Cabinet Decision No. 42 of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products, which outlines the mechanism to place the Digital Mark indicating that Excise Tax has been paid, whereby tobacco manufacturers are required to place the Marks on the products within the production facility immediately after packaging, if produced in the UAE, or before importing them if they are produced abroad. The FTA has determined a specific placement and method to apply the Digital Marks to each product.