|20 August, 2019

UAE cabinet to expand list of taxable products; sugary drinks to cost more

UAE cabinet to expand list of taxable products in January 2020

Image used for illustrative purpose, A variety of energy drinks for sale in a supermarket on August 30, 2018 in London, England.

Image used for illustrative purpose, A variety of energy drinks for sale in a supermarket on August 30, 2018 in London, England.

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ABU DHABI - In a step to reduce consumption of unhealthy goods and modify consumers’ behaviour, the UAE Cabinet adopted a decision to expand the list of excise taxable products to include sweetened beverages, sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices, starting 1st January 2020.

According to a statement released by the Cabinet General Secretariat, "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."

"A tax of 50 percent 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 added.

"The decision also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in order for consumers to make sensible healthy choices. "A tax of 100 percent 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 decision aims at reducing the consumption of harmful products that put the health of people and environment at risk," it continued.

"In 2017, the UAE Government started introducing excise tax on specific goods, which are typically harmful to human health or the environment," the General Secretariat of the Cabinet concluded.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.

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