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Tobacco imports to Saudi nearly halved

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The import of tobacco products into Saudi Arabia fell by 43.1 percent last year, apparently due to the implementation of an excise tax.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia imported cigarettes and tobacco products worth SR3.13 billion, before the tax was implemented.

According to the Saudi Customs Authority, the country imported 8,720 tons of tobacco products worth SR500 million during the first quarter of 2019.

In June 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began imposing a selective tax of 100 percent on tobacco products and energy drinks and 50 percent on fizzy drinks.
Saudi Arabia became the first GCC country to levy the selective tax, followed by the UAE and Bahrain.