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Tax Alert - February 2020


Excise Tax


  • Import of Waterpipe Tobacco and Electrically Heated Cigarettes to UAE without ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ to be banned from March 1, 2020

As of 1st March 2020, any imported waterpipe tobacco (‘Mu’assel’) or electrically heated cigarette plugs that are not marked with ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ will be prohibited across the UAE as asserted by the Federal Tax Authority (‘FTA’).

The relevant article can be accessed by clicking here.


  • Renewal of Designated Zone Registrations

A recent clarification was issued in relation to Excise Tax and the measures that must be taken by the warehouse keepers to renew the registration of Excise Tax Designated Zones. The clarification highlights the below points: 

  • The warehouse keepers should review the registration expiry dates of respective designated zones and apply for renewal every 12 months;
  • Payment of renewal fee should be done separately for each designated zone; and
  • Review the value and type of excise goods held in the designated zone so that the FTA may review the value of the current financial guarantee and advise to update accordingly.

It should be noted that if the above-mentioned steps were not followed, it may result in all the goods held within the designated zone to be considered as released for consumption in the UAE with Excise tax becoming payable immediately.

The full public clarification can be accessed by clicking here.

Customs update

  • Makasa related cancellation requests

As of 1st March 2020, all the Makasa related cancellation requests must be submitted via email along with the following attachments:

  • Due number cancellation;
  • Letter from the local company;
  • Original statistical exports bill with due number;
  • Inspection reports;
  • Transit in from FZ;
  • Import bill from the UAE border.

The complete circular can be accessed by clicking here.


  • Customs Policy no. DCP 47/2020 on customs procedures to apply the declaration system.

The Dubai Customs published a new policy regarding inbound and outbound travelers with the correct declaration of money, currencies or other negotiable financial instruments precious stones.

The full policy can be accessed clicking here.

GCC Update

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (‘KSA’) Updates

  • Rewards for whistleblowers

Recently a guide was published by the GAZT which highlights the rewards that may be received by whistleblowers when informing the following tax violations:

  • Violations in ZAKAT;
  • Violations in VAT;
  • Violations in Income Tax; and
  • Violations in Excise Tax

Further, the guide also explains the procedure along with the requirements needed to enable a whistleblower to receive the reward.

The full guide (only available in Arabic) can be accessed by clicking here.