An official delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain was briefed on the UAE’s Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme. The system, which the Federal Tax Authority implements, enables the tracking of tobacco products electronically through Digital Tax Stamps in order to combat tax evasion, protect consumers from commercial fraud, prevent illegal and nonconforming products from being sold in local markets, and ensure the collection of taxes due on all tobacco products traded in the country.
This was revealed in a joint virtual meeting between officials from the Federal Tax Authority and the Bahrain National Bureau for Revenue. His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the FTA, participated in part of the meeting, during which attendees discussed ways to enhance cooperation, develop relations and work together to exchange expertise and information in the field of taxation.
His Excellency stressed that this meeting reflects the solid bilateral relations between the two parties, as well as their commitment to strengthening their partnerships in all sectors, including taxes, through exchanging experiences and information. “Having these meetings is essential to enhance cooperation between the Authority and tax authorities in friendly countries, and to benefit from the experiences and regulations applied in the tax sector,” he added.
During the meeting, specialists from Bahrain’s National Bureau for Revenue were introduced to the mechanisms for implementing the UAE tax system, including the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme. The delegation explored the achievements of the system since its launch more than three years ago, as well as its role in promoting accuracy and effectiveness in control procedures, in line with the highest international standards.
FTA’s representatives presented the objectives, scope, steps, and results for implementing the first and second phases of the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme. The system’s successful track record prevents the sale (circulation) and possession of all types of cigarettes, waterpipe tobacco, and electrically heated cigarettes that do not bear Digital Tax Stamps in local markets.
Participants at the meeting reviewed the electronic tools and applications available to inspectors and consumers to participate in the supervisory efforts. In addition, they explored the comprehensive awareness campaigns implemented by the Authority to introduce the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme, the challenges that have been faced since the implementation of the system, and how they were overcome. FTA representatives went into the details of the newly redesigned Digital Tax Stamps under the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme. The new Stamps will be placed on all types of cigarettes and tobacco products, replacing the Digital Tax Stamps that were launched at the beginning of 2019, in line with the Authority’s ongoing plans to improve the quality and efficiency of its procedures in general, including measures to protect consumers from commercial fraud and combat tax evasion.
The approved designs for Digital Tax Stamps and the methodology for classifying product stamps for local markets and for the duty free areaswere also presented. Additionally, the meeting illustrated how the Authority links its database to that of other relevant authorities in order to implement the Scheme.
FTA experts answered inquiries by members of the Bahraini delegation about the UAE Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme, and agreed to maintain communication in the future to exchange information and experiences.