UAE launches electronic system for registering excise goods

Out-Law News | 19 Aug 2019 | 11:52 am |

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has unveiled an electronic system for registering excise goods, continuing the development of the country’s excise tax procedures.

The FTA said the system offered “accurate and transparent procedures” for registering excise goods, following in the wake of new reporting requirements related to excise tax returns and declarations.

Information required under the new system includes details of the product, ingredients, marketing information including images and videos, lab tests where required, and the retail price of the product in the UAE or elsewhere.

Middle East tax expert Joanne Clarke of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The FTA wishes to demonstrate that it is doing its part in the continuous enhancement of the local tax regime, by providing tax payers with this new system which offers accurate and transparent procedures for registering excise goods with clear guidelines and standards.”

Clarke said taxpayers should comply with the new obligations to avoid the application of penalties.

There is no threshold for excise tax in the UAE, meaning any business which sells or stores excise goods for sale in the UAE or outside the country needs to register its goods in the new system.

Excise tax was introduced into the UAE in October 2017. The FTA is currently drip-feeding the implementation of a Digital Tax Stamp scheme for cigarettes, water pipe tobacco and e-cigarettes, with the scheme beginning in May 2019 and implementation continuing into March 2020.