UAE to tax consumption of sweetened beverages

Drinks with sugar or other sweeteners will be taxed by 50% starting in the next year in the Arab country. Electronic smoking devices will be taxed by 100%. The government’s goal is to encourage healthy habits among the people.

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São Paulo – The United Arab Emirates will apply a tax of 50% on the consumption of sweetened beverages and sugary drinks. The news was published this Tuesday (20) on the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the UAE official news agency, based on a statement released by the country’s Cabinet General Secretariat.

According to the information released by the cabinet, the decision supports the United Arab Emirates government’s efforts to enhance public health and prevent chronic diseases linked to sugar and tobacco consumption. Besides the drinks, a tax of 100% will be levied on electronic smoking devices.

The decision will come into force on January 1st, 2020 and expands a previous list. “A tax of 50% will be levied on any product with added sugar or other sweeteners, whether in form of a beverage, liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink,” the statement read.

“A tax of 100% will be also levied on electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine or tobacco, as well as the liquids used in electronic smoking devices,” the statement read, adding that the decision aims at reducing the consumption of harmful products that put the health of people and the environment at risk.

In 2017, the UAE government started introducing excise tax on specific goods considered harmful to human health or the environment. The decision announced this Tuesday also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in the products so that consumers make sensible healthy choices.

Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Tax Authority (FTA) also launched a new electronic system for registering excise goods with clear guidelines and standards in addition to reporting requirements related to tax declarations. Through the system, the businesses may follow the registration process as well as obtaining other information and services.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

Peter Amend/Image Source/AFP

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