Cigarettes with digital stamps arrive in Bahrain

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR), in cooperation with the Customs Affairs, has announced the arrival of the first shipment of cigarette packs with digital stamps at Bahrain’s customs clearance ports.

The Digital Stamps Scheme aims to track excise goods from the manufacturing stage up to the point of consumption through digital stamps and intends to limit the smuggling of excise goods into the Kingdom, protecting consumers against the circulation of counterfeit or illegal products and ensuring the effectiveness of government revenue collection.

The first implementation phase of the scheme has gone into effect since March 11, 2022, when the digital stamps electronic system was enabled to receive purchase orders from excise payers who are registered with the NBR, which allows them to place such stamps on cigarette packs prior to dispatching them to local markets.

The NBR urged importers and manufacturers of cigarette products to comply with the dates of the next implementation phase of the scheme, whereby the import of cigarette products into Bahrain will be prohibited if they arrive without digital stamps as of July 17.

The NBR has encouraged all importers and merchants in the local markets to avoid stockpiling large quantities of cigarette products without digital stamps in preparation for the last implementation stage starting October 16, when no cigarette products can be traded or possessed without such stamps.

The NBR stressed the necessity to comply with the scheme, as NBR will take the necessary legal measures either by imposing administrative fines or referring cases to the Public Prosecution to initiate legal proceedings.

Source: Bahrain News Agency