UAE residents are having to shell out more money to pay for certain goods starting December 1. Consumers of e-cigarettes and vapes are now paying double for the e-devices as well as the liquids and tools used in them, while consumers of soft drinks containing added sugar and sweeteners are forking out 50 percent more.
The 50-100 percent increase in excise tax on harmful goods such as soft and energy drinks and tobacco was initiated in April 2017 and came into effect on December 1 - earlier than the previously announced date of January 2020, taking consumers by surprise.
In a tweet the UAE Government said the decision is a bid to “enhance public health and reduce consumption of unhealthy goods”.
It will result in huge savings on healthcare while at the same time cover the costs of public services though this newfound revenue. The move has been hailed by medical professionals.
The 50% tax will be applicable on sweetened drinks with added sugar including beverage, liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink.
The 100% tax will be applicable on liquids used in electronic smoking devices and tools regardless of whether the liquids contain nicotine or tobacco.