E. Khalid Al Bustani: Strengthening the Authority’s strategic partnerships with the government and private sectors helps increase commercial traffic in the UAE.
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) held the ‘Fifth Forum of Freight Forwarders and Customs Clearance Agents’ over the course of two days using videoconferencing technology, where it showcased the updates it has made to its digital and online services recently to further facilitate and streamline tax procedures in general, and those related to shipping and customs clearance activities in particular.
The Forum brought together 125 specialists and stakeholders from the freight forwarding and customs clearance sector, who raised queries that were answered by FTA experts. Participants were also introduced to the online procedures to register freight forwarding and customs clearance companies, generate the Tax Registration Number (TRN), clear standard import transactions, and settle tax transactions at customs ports. The meeting also covered procedures for registering Excise Goods in the system for importers who are not registered in the tax system, as well as how to generate clearance numbers for Excise Goods that meet the legal requirements for ‘Suspended Status’.
Representatives from the Federal Tax Authority gave an explanation covering the mechanisms and criteria for applying ‘Excise Suspended Customs Duties’ according to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Common Customs Law and legislation issued to regulate tax collection on Excise Goods where the UAE is not the final destination, provided said goods meet the conditions for ‘Temporary Admission’ stipulated in the law.
Implementing ‘Suspended Customs Duties’ procedures exempts importers of Excise Goods that meet legal requirements for the ‘Suspended Status’ from paying Excise Tax on said goods when they enter through UAE customs ports – and subsequently recovering these taxes upon the goods’ exit from the country.
The FTA representatives pointed out that according to Cabinet Decision No. (37) of 2017 on the Executive Regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No (7) of 2017 on Excise Tax, Excise Goods that are exported and not supplied for local consumption are exempt from Excise Tax, provided they have not previously been taxed and are only transiting to their final destination. A ‘Suspended Status’ will be applied to these goods in accordance with customs legislation, and provided that they meet the legal requirements specified in this decision.
They noted that when Excise Goods enter through UAE customs ports, the advanced electronic system that links the Federal Tax Authority to said ports determines whether or not these goods qualify for Suspended Status. The assessment then dictates which procedures to apply to them and the system displays instructions accordingly.
In a press statement issued today, His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority, stressed that the Forum forms part of the Authority’s efforts to raise awareness about taxes among businesses, and maintain continuous communication with workers in all economic sectors to inform them of developments and tax procedures, listen to their opinions and concerns, and address any obstacles they may face. The objective is to ensure the implementation of the tax system and achieve its desired objectives, he said.
H.E. noted that the Authority is committed to strengthening its partnerships with relevant authorities in the government, as well as the private sector. “These strategic partnerships are essential for successfully implementing the tax system,” he explained. “They allow the Authority to achieve its goals to raise tax awareness among businesses through seminars and workshops for all sectors in all seven emirates.”
“Customs clearance companies authorised by the Authority help facilitate suppliers subject to tax to comply with their obligations,” H.E. Al Bustani explained. “These companies play an important role in strengthening the relationship between the FTA and Taxable Persons; they help increase compliance rates and awareness of the principles of the tax system and its executive and control procedures.”
His Excellency went on to say that cooperation with the Federal Customs Authority and local customs departments and linking their systems with the FTA’s digital infrastructure is a leading factor in ensuring the smooth implementation of the tax system, maintaining the flow of the country’s foreign trade, and removing obstacles to the movement of goods to, from, and through the United Arab Emirates.
Participants in the Forum applauded the efforts made by the Federal Tax Authority to raise awareness about the tax system in the UAE, praising its responsiveness and continuous interaction with enquiries from businesses. They reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the tax system and educating their customers about its objectives.