Qatar: Excise tax compliance obligations for importers of energy and carbonated drinks, tobacco, “special purpose goods”

Importers of energy and carbonated drinks, tobacco, “special purpose goods”

Importers of energy and carbonated drinks, tobacco, “special purpose goods”

Businesses that import or produce excisable goods and operators of tax warehouses are required to register for excise tax purposes following the introduction of excise taxes on the following goods in January 2019:

  • Tobacco and its products—100%
  • Energy drinks—100%
  • Carbonated drinks—50%
  • Special purpose goods (alcohol and pork items, which can only be sold and consumed under specific conditions and authorizations)—100%

Taxpayers/importers of excisable products may be penalized for delayed excisable product registration, as well as for delayed submission of excise tax returns.

Identified issues concern (1) late product registration, (2) delay in import documentation, (3) quarterly compliance obligations, (4) non-compliance with inventory and movement control systems, (5) incorrectly charging excise tax, (6) failure to obtain/retain valid documents from suppliers, (7) penalties due to errors in calculations, and (8) lack of expertise of finance personnel.

Procedures for importer of records

Prior to the importation of excisable goods to Qatar, there are some procedures that need to be fulfilled by the importer of records.

  • Excise tax registration—There is no registration threshold for excise tax. Therefore, any registered business in Qatar that intends to be involved in the import or production of excisable goods must complete excise tax registration via Dhareeba (tax portal of the tax authority), and obtain an updated tax card that reflects the excise tax registration date. Subsequent information may be asked by the relevant authority about the planned business activity and the registration.
  • Excisable goods registration—Record companies must register excisable goods via Dhareeba and obtain relevant approvals from the tax authority. Certain documents (e.g., invoice, retail sales price calculation, product details) need to be submitted along with the request. Commencement of import procedures without product registration may lead to a delay as well as unexpected penalties from the customs authorities.

During the importation of excisable goods, the importer of records must follow certain requirements and provide the relevant documents that were obtained from the supplier (e.g., commercial invoice, product ingredient) and from the relevant authorities in Qatar (e.g., Ministry of Public Health).

After the importation of excisable goods, the importer of records will have to comply with the requirements of the excise tax law and file excise tax returns on a quarterly basis. Filing of the excise tax return along with payment of the excise tax amount must be completed no later than the 15th day of the calendar month following the end of the quarterly tax period. In practice, excise taxes are collected during importation so that taxpayers are only required to submit/file excise tax returns via Dhareeba. Delayed submission may lead to possible penalties that would be in the amount of QAR 500 for each day of delay with a maximum amount of QAR 180,000.

Read a September 2022 report [PDF 312 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Qatar


The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 3712, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.