JEDDAH – Saudi Customs have announced a ban on import of cigarettes that do not bear tax stamps on each cigarette pack, in line with the conditions stipulated by the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT), effective Aug 23.
The Customs Department added that for more information and to submit an application to obtain tax stamps, one can click on the link https://bit.ly/2MbURGI
GAZTAT began its first step in putting the stages for tax stamps into action by implementing the system on cigarettes imported into Saudi Arabia, effective May 31 this year. This will allow importers to apply for tax stamps so as to apply them on each cigarette pack imported from outside the Kingdom.
The Saudi Customs austerities have clarified regulations for bringing in tobacco products.
Adult passengers entering Saudi Arabia are allowed to bring with them a maximum of 200 cigarettes, 500 gram of tobacco and 24 cigars.
Under the new rules, the customs officers will seize any extra quantity and the passenger shall re-export them within 15 days.
In August, a ban will be imposed on importing cigarettes that do not bear sound and activated tax stamps on each cigarette pack.
A ban on sale or circulation of cigarette packs not bearing sound and activated tax stamps will be imposed in the Kingdom, effective November 2019.
Earlier, said a 100% tax would be levied on electronic cigarettes and products used in them, and a 50% tax on sugared drinks.
Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, already had a 100% tax on cigarettes and tobacco products, a 100% tax on energy drinks and a 50% one on fizzy drinks.
The authority took the decision on May 15 and it became effective soon.
The taxes fall under the category of selective taxes on products deemed harmful to public health.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, introduced a 5% value-added tax (VAT) in January 2018.
The IMF last week said the VAT introduction had been successful.