New tax on soft drinks and electronic smoking devices

A 100 percent increase on e-cigarette products, and 50 percent on soft drinks, too

New tax on soft drinks and electronic smoking devices

The UAE is to implement a new excise tax on products to encourage the adoption of healthier consumer behaviour and eating habits, it has been announced.

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 as of January 1 2020.

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.

Meanwhile, a 100 percent tax will be levied against electronic smoking devices, “whether or not they contain tobacco” – that also includes the e-liquids used therein.

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

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