RIYADH: The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) announced that it will ban the sale and circulation of cigarette packs without tax stamps, starting today.
GAZT explained that this decision is based on the provisions of the executive regulation of the selective tax system related to tax stamps, within the framework of the unified agreement for selective tax for Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The tax stamp is defined as a “distinctive sign,” in the form of a sticker or a symbol containing encrypted digital data, placed on selected products and activated electronically. The sticker is ordered, printed and followed through a tracking program. Producers and importers of the selected products are required to comply with specific product standards.
GAZT stated that the application of the tax stamps system will strengthen the imposition of controls on the tax collection on selected products that are imported to Saudi Arabia. It will also strengthen the ability to verify the safe entry of selected products into the Kingdom, in a lawful and legitimate manner, to ensure the collection of all due taxes on this type of goods. The application of tax stamps also ensures that the compliance standards set out in the World Health Organization Convention on Tobacco Control are met.
GAZT confirmed that the consumer can verify the legitimacy and integrity of tax seals through the verification application available on smart phones, launched by GAZT in conjunction with the application of the tax stamping system, so that the user can scan the bar code on cigarette packs through the application.
The authority called on all consumers to report illegal products through its official website (GAZT.GOV.SA), or through the unified call center (19993), or the verification application.