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Tax on sweetened beverages effective from Oct 1

23 Sep 2020

The Tax Authority has announced that all business establishments will have to start paying 50 per cent excise tax levied on sweetened drinks with effect from October 1, 2020. 

The tax application comes in the wake of the Unified GCC Agreement on Selective Tax, already implemented by other GCC states.

According to the provisions of Article 15 of the Excise Tax Law, anyone who practises an activity related to the taxable sweetened drinks (including import, production, trading and distribution), should notify the authority about possession of such goods on the day before the taxation date.

‘The available stock on September 30, 2020, needs to be recorded and provided to the authority through the electronic portal of the Tax Authority,’ a statement said. The notice has to be filed within 15 days (from the date of application of the tax) via the portal of the Tax Authority.

The authority emphasised the need for importers of goods subject to excise tax (including sweetened beverages) to compare the list of their imported goods with the list published in the portal of the Tax Authority.

For information related to the excise tax, log on to or call 24747614. 

To avoid delays in clearance of imported consignments at customs outlets, importers have to apply in advance for the addition of their products in the selective tax list before beginning import operations.

Sugary or sweetened beverages/drinks covered by the excise tax, also referred to as selective tax, includes all types of juices, sports drinks, fruit/malt syrups, pre-mixed ready to serve coffee and tea drinks, which contain sugar or any of its derivatives (regardless of the percentage of sugar contained).

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