08:47 / 06.06.2024

Inspectorate for regulating tobacco and alcohol market established in Uzbekistan

On June 3, the President of Uzbekistan signed a decree “On strengthening measures to regulate the market of alcohol and tobacco products and prevent their illicit trafficking,” the press service of the Ministry of Justice reported.

Photo: RIA Novosti

According to the document, an Inspectorate for Regulation of Alcohol and Tobacco Market will be created under the PGO Department for Combating Economic Crimes.

One of the main tasks of the inspection is to participate in the implementation of a unified state policy on the production and sale of food and technical ethyl alcohol, alcohol and tobacco products, as well as ensuring control over these processes.

Until January 1, 2025, employees of the PGO Department for Combating Economic Crimes will be assigned to each manufacturing enterprise of edible ethyl alcohol and alcoholic products (except for natural and sparkling wines, beer and beer drinks).

From October 1, the following additional licensing requirements for the production of food and technical ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages will be introduced:

•  compliance with legal requirements for timely payment of annual license fees, taxes and other obligatory payments;
•  compliance with quality requirements in the production and trade of alcoholic products, as well as procedures for the use of excise stamps, mandatory digital marking through means of identification;
•  installation of video surveillance equipment that provides the ability to monitor and control the processes of alcohol production.

From the same date, if cases of shadow production, production without an excise stamp, without digital marking or low-quality alcoholic products are identified, production equipment will be turned into state revenue.

Alcohol and tobacco products with a fake excise stamp, without an excise stamp, not marked with digital identification, or marked with fake marking codes will be withdrawn from circulation, and the license to trade these products will be cancelled.

Wholesale trade agreements for food and technical ethyl alcohol, alcohol and tobacco products will be subject to mandatory registration with the tax authorities.

Within 10 working days from the date of notification of the manufacturer about the suspension or termination of the license, an inventory of payment in full of taxes and fees, as well as the remains of edible ethyl alcohol and alcoholic products, will be carried out through the “License” information system.

From September 1, if misuse is detected by manufacturers who purchased food and technical ethyl alcohol, tax authorities will apply financial sanctions in the amount of 2.5 times the amount of excise tax charged on volumes of food and technical ethyl alcohol purchased at exchange trading over the last 12 months.

The inspectorate will also be authorized to suspend the license for a ten-day period, considering cases of loading and transportation without an electronic invoice and delivery note of food and technical ethyl alcohol by vehicles that do not meet the established requirements and do not have an online remote monitoring system (GPS).

In case of repeated violation of licensing requirements within one year, financial sanctions in the amount of 500 BCAs will be applied.

It should be recalled that product labeling projects in Uzbekistan began with cigarettes and alcoholic beverages – to combat counterfeit and smuggled products, back in 2019. In 2020, the list expanded with soft drinks, medicines and household appliances.

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