Sheikh Khalifa issues federal excise tax law

The tax is set to discourage the consumption of products that negatively impact the environment, Sheikh Hamdan said.

The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a federal decree-law on excise tax, which will be imposed on selected products.

As per Federal Decree-Law No. 07 of 2017, excise tax rates that shall be imposed on the excise goods, which, along with the method of calculating the excise price, are subject to a decision by the council of ministers, upon the recommendation of the minister of finance, provided that the tax rates do not exceed 200 per cent of the excise price.

At its 37th meeting, in December 2016, the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, issued a resolution on excise goods list, which contains tobacco products, energy drinks and certain soft drinks.

“As President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa issues Federal Decree-Law No. 07 of 2017 on excise tax, the UAE takes a great leap forward,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, said.

“We are making remarkable progress in our plans to establish a sound legislative infrastructure to support the UAE’s tax system and make sure it meets and exceeds international best practices.”

“The project diversifies the government’s revenue streams and boosts its resources, which, in turn, will strengthen the economy and ensure its sustainability,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid added. “The excise tax, in particular, will help us build a healthier and safer society. This tax is set to discourage the consumption of products that negatively impact the environment and, more importantly, people’s health, while the revenues it generates will go towards supporting advanced services for all members of society.”

The new legislation requires excise tax to be imposed on certain activities around specific “excise goods”, activities such as the production or importation of excise goods in to the UAE, as well as the stockpiling of excise goods in the UAE, where these activities occur in the course of doing business.

The due tax is, moreover, the responsibility of the person who conducts any of these activities, or, if said person fails to meet their obligations, a person involved in any of the activities. In the event that excise goods are released from a designated zone (and where payable tax has not been paid previously), the onus is on the warehouse keeper to pay the tax.

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