New UAE tax on sugary drinks and e-cigarettes to start on December 1

Here’s what you need to know

New UAE tax on sugary drinks and e-cigarettes to start on December 1

In August a new tax was announced in the UAE.

A 100 percent tax will be imposed on all e-cigarettes and e-liquids, whether they contain tobacco or not, and a number of soft drinks.

The tax, initially suggested to become effective from January 1 2020, will now come into effect from December 1 2019 according to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

An excise tax was placed on energy drinks and tobacco in October 2017 and the new tax aims to improve public health and encourage people to make healthier choices.

The WAM state news agency has confirmed that the UAE Cabinet has decided to “expand the list of excise taxable products” on soft drinks and electronic smoking devices – meaning prices will increase by at least 50 percent once introduced.

The tax will extend to, according to WAM, soft drink products that include either added sugar or other sweeteners, and that includes “beverage, liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink”.

“The decision comes to support the UAE government's efforts to enhance public health and prevent chronic diseases directly linked to sugar and tobacco consumption,” said the Cabinet General Secretariat in a statement.

“The decision aims at reducing the consumption of harmful products that put the health of people and environment at risk.”

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