WHO meeting on tobacco taxation for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
Place: Cairo, EgyptDate: 1-3 May 2012
The World Health Organization (WHO) held a meeting on tobacco taxation in Egypt with countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The meeting included participants from Ministries of Finance, Health and Customs from GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar) as well as Yemen.
The GCC countries do not impose excise taxes on tobacco products. They only impose import duties which are in contradiction with the Wold Trade Organization rules and are about to be phased out in the future. Therefore, there is a need to introduce excise taxes on tobacco products in order to raise prices and reduce consumption effectively. The meeting aimed to raise awareness about this issue and look into the feasibility of introducing excise taxes. Countries were then invited to propose next steps for activities on tobacco taxation at the national level. At the end of the meeting participants agreed on a set of recommendations and follow-up actions with the support of WHO to improve taxation in their countries.