MANAMA: All imported cigarettes that arrive at entry points in Bahrain must have digital stamps indicating excise duty, in order to be cleared from Customs’ Affairs from May 15, the National Bureau for Revenues (NBR) revealed yesterday.

The move is aimed at preventing the circulation of counterfeit products.

The GDN reported last month that a ban on importing cigarettes without an active excise duty mark is set for introduction. The NBR said the measure will be further expanded from August 14 to include the selling, trading or possessing of cigarettes without the distinctive information.

The moves were announced by NBR chief executive Rana Faqihi, and published last month in the Official Gazette. It added that importers had to immediately apply electronically to buy the licensing marks.

In another decision, also published in the Gazette, anyone who imports, sells and possesses any product on the excise duty list without an active authorised genuine mark would face legal action. Traders who refuse to abide by the rule can file an appeal during a limited time.

Excise duty is imposed on market prices of three categorised products: 100 per cent on cigarettes and energy drinks and 50pc on soft drinks.

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