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Cigarettes in UAE: minimum price to be rolled out on December 1

 

DUBAI – Cigarettes will become more expensive in the UAE starting on December 1 when a minimum price for a pack will be set at Dh8.

The Federal Tax Authority announced that the move to set a minimum price is meant to end the sale of low quality tobacco products sold in the country. Currently, the cheapest pack of cigarette costs Dh3.

From December, a stick of cigarette will also have a 40-fil excise fee, while water pipe tobacco will carry an excise tax of 10 fils per gram.

With Excise Tax, prices of cigarette packs in the UAE have doubled, which healthcare specialists hope will encourage smokers to quit smoking.

In August this year, the UAE also announced that e-cigarettes and vaping devices would have a 100 percent tax.

Those are not the only things that are going to be taxed from December 1.

Earlier this month, the Federal Tax Authority announced that new taxes on e-cigarettes and sweetened beverages will be implemented starting on December 1, one month earlier than the planned January 1, 2020 rollout.

The FTA renewed its reminder to producers and importers to start registering for excise tax on the additional products, adding that fines may be imposed on those who fail to register.

The UAE Cabinet in August ruled that excise tax will be levied on any drink that has sugar or sweeteners and this includes concentrates, gels, powders, extracts and ready-to-drink beverages.

However, beverages with sugar that are exempt from tax includes ready-to-drink beverages containing at least 75 percent milk, and beverages containing at least 75 percent milk substitutes.

Tax-exempt products include milkshake, baby formula and beverages for special dietary needs or medical use.

Currently, the UAE imposes 50 percent excise tax on carbonated beverages and 100 percent tax on energy drinks and tobacco products. ICA/Expat Media

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