UAE postpones ban on sheisha and electronic cigarettes
UAE postpones ban on sheisha and electronic cigarettes

The Federal Tax Authority issued a decision to postpone the implementation of the ban on the supply, transportation, storage and possession of hookah tobacco - known in Arabic as "Al-Moasal" and cigarettes that are electrically heated in the United Arab Emirates that do not have digital tax stamps until January 1, 2021.

The authority said in a statement on Tuesday that the ban was due to enter into force on June 1, 2020, in line with the timetable for the launch of the second phase of the "Tobacco and Tobacco Products Discrimination System".

The program seeks to protect consumers from commercial fraud and low-quality products, reduce the negative impact on public health, and strengthen the control systems created to combat tax evasion.

The FTA clarified that extending the schedule for the second stage of the scheme is to address the challenges posed by current conditions, which prevent some producers, importers, distributors, and warehouses from smoking hookah and electrically heated cigarettes from meeting the previous group's deadlines.

The Director General of the Free Trade Zone Khaled Ali Al-Bustani confirmed that the FTA decision to postpone the ban aims to give producers, suppliers and distributors of expedited and electrical cigarettes enough time to sort out any issues and the ability to implement the plan smoothly.

He said: "This extension in the timetable gives them an additional seven months to prepare for the mandatory implementation of the embargo."

He pointed out that the FTA is dedicated to coordinating with its partners from the government and the private sector to ensure the effective and smooth implementation of tax systems.

Whereas, the import of hookah tobacco and electrically heated cigarettes with no digital tax stamps was banned on March 1, 2020, as part of the second phase of the Tobacco and Tobacco Marking System.