UAE to add sweetened beverages and e-cigarettes to its excise tax list in 2020

The UAE Cabinet recently made a decision to expand the list of excise taxable products to include sweetened beverages, sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices, starting from January 1, 2020.

The decision to add a tax of 50 percent is part of efforts to reduce consumption of unhealthy goods and modify consumers’ behavior, state news agency WAM reported.

A statement released by the Cabinet General Secretariat read, “The decision comes to suppor t 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,” it added.

WAM said the decision also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in order for consumers to make ‘sensible healthy choices’.

The statement also said that a tax of 100 percent will be levied on electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine or tobacco, as well as the liquids used in electronic smoking devices.