Selective Tax: Prices of tobacco products, alcohol and energy drinks to double

March 14, 2019

The prices of tobacco products, alcohol, energy drinks and pork products will go up by 100 per cent from June, while carbonated drinks will go up by 50 per cent.

Oman has followed in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar in imposing a selective tax, dubbed as ‘sin tax' on goods and beverages, seen to have a level of harm associated with their consumption.

The Royal Decree 23/2019 on the Selective Tax Law was issued on Wednesday.

With its implementation, that will come into effect 90 days from the date of issuance of the Royal Decree, prices of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and energy drinks will double as it will attract an excise tax of 100 per cent, while tax will go up by 50 per cent on fizzy drinks.

The law comes as a result of the GCC framework on ‘Unified Selective Excise Tax’, which was issued in 2016. The law was reviewed and endorsed by the Majlis A’Shura and the State Council at the end of 2018, although it was first unveiled in Oman’s 2017 budget.

A statement from the Governmental Communication Center (GCC) on the law said that selective taxation seeks to achieve a set of objectives including supporting healthy lifestyle, controlling consumption pattern of such goods and generating additional resource for public finances.

GCC also stated that raising the prices of goods under the Selective Tax before it comes into effect is an offence. “Any violation can be reported to the Public Authority for Consumer Protection via the hotline (80079009 or 80077997).”

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