Importing any type of waterpipe tobacco or electrically heated cigarette plugs that are not marked with digital tax stamps will be banned across the UAE from March 1, according to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).
The ban is in keeping with the timeline set for launching phase two of the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme, the FTA said, adding that it serves to protect consumers from commercial fraud and low-quality products.
The stamps allow for products to be tracked from the manufacturing facility to the consumer, ensuring they satisfy the standards and have met their excise tax obligations.
In November, the authority began providing digital tax stamps in collaboration with De La Rue, the company operating the system, allowing importers and producers of waterpipe tobacco and electrically heated cigarette plugs to place their orders.
After March 1, all products imported to the UAE must be marked with stamps while any supply, transfer, stockpiling, or possession of non-stamped products will be banned after June 1.
Phase one of the scheme banning the sale or possession of any type of cigarette not bearing the stamps began in August 2019.