Sugary drinks and cigarettes
Oman's Public Authority for Consumer Protection has intensified its inspection campaigns to ensure suppliers and shops ensure correct pricing following the increase applicable to sweetened drinks. Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has intensified its inspection campaigns across the Sultanate to ensure that suppliers and shops ensure correct pricing, especially in the wake of the recent increase applicable to sweetened drinks.

From the beginning of this month, an excise tax of 50 per cent of the cost was levied on sweetened drinks per a decision issued by the tax authority. The decision issued on 18 June this year includes a list of products like juices, fruit drinks, energy or sport drinks, canned coffee and tea products.

“Beverages containing added sugar or sweeteners that are ready-to-drink, concentrates, gels, powders, extracts, or any form that can be converted into sugar sweetened beverage, will be subject to a 50 per cent excise tax from October 1, 2020”, says the decision issued by the Authority.

Selective tax

The Authority has also developed a specific action plan to match the change in the prices of a large number of commodities in the Sultanate’s markets, coinciding with the imposition of the selective tax on them.

Field work teams of judicial control officers have been formed and sent to various shops and commercial centers in the Sultanate to inspect the progress of implementation. Follow-up and control of commodity prices is also in place to ensure that no one took any unscrupulous advantage of the hike. For any violation that is recorded the supplier will be dealt with legally.

Salim bin Ali Al Hakmani, Chairman of the Consumer Protection Authority, undertook a field visit recently to many shops and commercial centres in Seeb town area with his team to monitor and check on their activities. The field trip was also undertaken to ensure that the commercial establishments are run in an appropriate manner and that they do not exploit the current conditions to raise commodity prices. Customers’ feedback were also monitored and noted besides encouraging them to notify the PACP on any discrepancies they might come across.