UAE President Issues Excise Tax Decree

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UAE President Issues Excise Tax Decree

"The selective tax will be imposed on all selective goods that are consumed within the country even if they are in a free zone or at airports", Younis al-Khouri, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, told WAM in an exclusive statement.

Speaking to state news agency WAM, Mr Al Khoory confirmed that anyone entering the country with cigarettes - or buying in duty free - would be taxed at the new rate.

"Goods accompanied by travellers out of the country will not be taxed, unlike those accompanied with the arrivals of the state, which will be taxed", he explained.

Excise tax will be payable at a 50 percent rate on soft drinks, and at a rate of 100 percent on energy drinks and tobacco products.

This is all gearing up towards January 1 2018, when a blanket 5 per cent VAT (value-added tax) will roll out across the UAE in order to help stave the continuing drop in oil prices across the region.

President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on August 21 issued a Federal Decree on Excise Tax, with the levy to be imposed on selected products, including tobacco products, some types of soft drink, and energy drinks.

The tax is being implemented across the Gulf Cooperation Council following an agreement reached in December. This would follow Saudi Arabia, which introduced the taxes in June. In the build-up, the kingdom's importers and wholesalers were accused of hoarding products to make a quick profit after the official start date.

UAE excise tax law will see some products taxed by up to 200 per cent.

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