Saudi tax authority to impose 50% levy on sugary drinks in December

Saudi tax authority to impose 50% levy on sugary drinks in December
(Shutterstock illustration image)
Updated 21 June 2019

Saudi tax authority to impose 50% levy on sugary drinks in December

Saudi tax authority to impose 50% levy on sugary drinks in December
  • Exempted are milk-based products, milk, infant formula, and drinks that contain natural sugar, such as fruit juices and those for medical purposes

JEDDAH: The Saudi tax authority has announced it is to start implementing a selective levy on sugary drinks.

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) will police the introduction of a resolution of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to expand tariffs to include sweetened beverages, in addition to soft and energy drinks.

From Dec. 1, 2019, drinks will be taxed at 50 percent of their retail sale price in line with GCC regulations issued in June 2017.

According to GAZT, the tax will apply to any sweetened beverage that consists of water and sugar, sweeteners, concentrated liquids, powders, or extracts converted to beverages.

GAZT added that health reports had highlighted the negative effects of consuming sugary drinks, noting that consumers were more likely to be exposed to diseases and weight gain. Studies suggested the benefits of replacing them with fruit and natural juices rich with vitamins.

The authority said some drinks would be exempt from the selective tax, including milk-based products (75 percent at least), milk, infant formula, as well as drinks that contain natural sugar, such as fruit juices and those for medical purposes.  

For further information on drinks with added sugar and to find out which products will be exempt from the tax, visit the GAZT website at www.gazt.gov.sa.

 


Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights
Updated 59 min 52 sec ago

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights
  • Egypt condemns Israeli forces for storming Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Monday condemned Israel for undermining Palestinian rights as days of clashes in Jerusalem erupted into an exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza.

The comments came after talks between Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on developments in Jerusalem.

The ministers discussed “the rapid developments in the Palestinian arena, and the recent Israeli incursions into the compounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Ahmed Hafez, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, said.

Shoukry briefed Prince Faisal on and Egyptian statement calling on Israel to “assume its responsibility to stop these violations in accordance with the rules of international law, and to provide the necessary protection for Palestinian civilian.”

The two ministers also affirmed their rejection of all illegal practices aimed at undermining legitimate Palestinian rights.

During the call, they also reviewed relations between their countries, and ways to enhance cooperation, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

Earlier on Monday, Egypt strongly condemned Israeli forces for storming Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, expelling Palestinian worshippers from inside the compound, and denying them access.

The foreign ministry called on Israel to assume its responsibility regarding these rapid and dangerous developments, “which will lead to more tension and escalation.”

More than 300 people were wounded on Monday in renewed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the compound, ahead of an Israeli celebration of its 1967 takeover of Jerusalem.

Egypt also stressed the need to stop all practices that violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, especially during Ramadan.

“This is in line with the rules of international law and in order to provide all types of protection for Palestinian civilians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the rest of East Jerusalem, while not targeting the Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

The violence since Friday has been Jerusalem’s worst since 2017, fueled by a long-running bid by Jewish settlers to evict several Palestinian families from the nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem.

A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal in the case originally set for Monday was pushed back by the justice ministry due to the tensions.

The UN Security Council held an informal meeting at Tunisia’s request on Monday on the unrest and Arab League foreign ministers and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said they will hold emergency sessions on Tuesday.

(With AFP)


Arab coalition intercepts drone launched by Yemen’s Houthis toward Abha airport in Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
Updated 27 min 51 sec ago

Arab coalition intercepts drone launched by Yemen’s Houthis toward Abha airport in Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
  • Arab coalition calls it a hostile and brutal act
  • Thousands of multi-national travelers pass through Abha airport daily

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Monday evening it intercepted and shot down a booby-trapped drone in the southern region launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was launched “in a deliberate and systematic way to target travelers at Abha International Airport, through which thousands of civilian travelers of different nationalities pass through daily.”
Col. Al-Maliki said some shrapnel fell in the airport’s inner compound as a result of the interception. No injuries were reported among travelers or airport staff, but damage was caused to three buses whose windows shattered. 
Al Al-Maliki said coalition forces will continue to implement strict measures to confront these terrorist acts and immoral abuses by the Houthi militia, and to ensure that civilians and civilian objects are protected.
“The terrorist elements responsible for planning and executing out this hostile attack will be held accountable in accordance with international humanitarian law,” Al-Maliki added.
On Sunday, coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone launched toward the southern city of Khamis Mushait.
The Houthi militia has stepped up attempts to target civilian and economic objects in Saudi Arabia, amid mounting international and Arab condemnation.
The Houthis have struck Abha airport a number of times in recent years, killing one person, injuring dozens and on one occasion causing a passenger aircraft to catch fire.


Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks
Updated 10 May 2021

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

RIYADH: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Riyadh on Sunday for a two-day visit. 

He will discuss bilateral matters and regional issues in talks with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

 

 

 


Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia
Updated 10 May 2021

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is expected in Jeddah on Monday in response to an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.  

The emir received last month Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who delivered an invitation from King Salman to visit the Kingdom.


What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. (Supplied)
Updated 10 May 2021

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
  • COVID-19 insurance mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel

JEDDAH: With one week to go before international travel resumes, Saudis are being encouraged to cover all the necessary basics before leaving the country.

During a joint press conference on Sunday, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) shared new instructions and updated travel insurance policies for all Saudis wishing to travel abroad following a previous announcement stating the four categories allowed.
Ibrahim Alrwosa, GACA official spokesman, outlined the new travel procedures for citizens, health protocols followed at airports, and the shipment, transport and reception of vaccines at the Kingdom’s airports.
“After a week, our airports will witness the resuming of flights for citizens starting 1 a.m. We call on everyone to thoroughly follow the set health precautions to achieve a completely safe trip,” said Alrwosa, adding that the authority will update its safety instructions to add COVID-19 health measures in a new leaflet.
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders.
Alrwosa stressed that travelers follow their country of destination’s health precautions to avoid any problems.

HIGHLIGHT

Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders. 

Meanwhile, CCHI spokesman, Othman Al-Qasabi, revealed that the new insurance policy will include benefits that cover the risks of COVID-19 infection, and that it is mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel.
“This is in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank. Persons vaccinated with two doses, first dose, and immune by recovery with the required timeline, will have the travel insurance available for them, but it has been made mandatory for those under the age of 18 to reduce the risks accompanied by the virus.”
The travel insurance, which is only valid for 30 days, will cover emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 such as emergency rooms, urgent care and transportation. It also covers quarantine-related accommodation costs, medical evacuation and issues related to canceling flights due to COVID-19 conditions.
“These new benefits have been added to the already existing travel insurance benefits.”
The council revealed that a consortium of 12 companies has been approved for people to receive travel insurance from, with Tawuniya Insurance Company chosen to lead the alliance.