Coronavirus: UAE delays ban on water pipe tobacco, e-cigarettes without digital tax stamps to 2021

The Federal Tax Authority, FTA, has issued a decision to postpone the implementation of the ban on supplying, transferring, storing, and possession of waterpipe tobacco - known in Arabic as 'mu'assel' - and electrically heated cigarettes in the UAE that do not carry digital tax stamps until January 1, 2021.


The ban had previously been scheduled to come into effect on June 1, 2020, in keeping with the timeline set for launching phase two of the 'Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme', the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.


The scheme seeks to protect consumers from commercial fraud and low-quality products, limit the negative impact on public health, and enhance control systems set up to combat tax evasion.


The FTA explained that the extension of the timeline for phase two of the scheme was to address the challenges posed by the current conditions, which prevent certain producers, importers, distributors, and stockpilers of waterpipe tobacco and electrically heated cigarettes from meeting the previously set deadlines.