Federal Tax Authority Adopts New Design for ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ Adhering to Best and Latest Standards
Abu Dhabi, September 16, 2021 – The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the adoption of new features for ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ to be placed on the packaging of cigarettes, electrically heated cigarettes, and waterpipe tobacco (known in Arabic as ‘Mu’assel’) circulated in local markets.
The new Stamps will replace the existing ones, which have been in circulation as of January 1, 2019, as per Cabinet Decision No. (42) of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products, and in keeping with FTA Decision No. (3) of 2021, which will go into effect on October 1, 2021, formally adopting the newly redesigned ‘Digital Tax Stamps’.
The new decision specifies the Excise Goods that it targets, namely all types of cigarettes, including electrically heated cigarettes, as well as waterpipe tobacco (‘Mu’assel’).
Moreover, the Decision specifies the dates for receiving orders of the Digital Tax Stamps with the new design, which include two categories. The Decision states that as of October 1, 2021, orders will be accepted for the first category of Stamps, where the Stamps with the red design will be placed on packaging of all types of cigarettes, while those with the purple design will be applied to the packaging of electrically heated cigarettes and waterpipe tobacco, which are authorised for trade in local markets and arrival halls at airports. The second category will open for orders as of January 1, 2022, where the Stamps with the green design would be placed on the packaging of all cigarettes, while those with a blue design would be applied to the packaging of electrically heated cigarettes and waterpipe tobacco, which are authorised for trade in duty-free shops in departure halls at airports.
In a press statement issued today, the Federal Tax Authority asserted that the new designs of the ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ would not impact the manufacturing process in tobacco factories, confirming that the alterations are visual design-related. The FTA will not require any changes for applying the redesigned Stamps
The Authority noted that the updated design of the Stamps is part of its continuous improvement plans, which aim to enhance FTA procedures, protect consumers from commercial fraud, and combat tax evasion using advanced technological systems. The ‘Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme’ aims to digitally track tobacco products from production and until they reach the end consumer to ensure compliance with the latest and best standards and make sure taxpayers commit to paying the due Excise Tax.
Furthermore, the FTA confirmed that the new designs facilitate inspection and control operations at customs ports and markets. The approved Digital Tax Stamps are placed on the packaging of Designated Excise Goods and registered in the Authority’s database. The Stamp includes digital information that can be read using a dedicated device to verify that taxes imposed on these products have been duly paid.
Cabinet Decision No. (42) of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products stipulated that the Digital Tax Stamps be fixed on thew Excise Goods at the production facility immediately after packaging if they are locally produced, or prior to importing them if they are made abroad and imported into the UAE. The Stamps are to be fixed on the products in the place and manner specified for each product by the Federal Tax Authority.
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