Passengers flying in and out of Oman will now have to shell out more for cigarettes and alcohol after the Royal Oman Police (ROP) amended its customs provisions, leading to a sharp rise in the pricing of these commodities at airports.
These products will now be levied with a 100 per cent service charge. The ROP’s amendment – 38/2017 – which was issued last month by Lt Gen Hassan Bin Mohsen al Shuraiqi, the Inspector General of Police and Customs, outlined the changes in the existing customs provisions.
This falls in line with guidelines for implementation of Article 6 of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) framework convention on tobacco control (FCTC), which encourages parties to adopt tax and price policies on tobacco products. “Effective taxes on tobacco products that lead to higher real consumer prices [inflation-adjusted] are desirable because they lower consumption and prevalence, and thereby in turn reduce mortality and morbidity and improve the health of the population,” states Article 6 of the WHO’s guidelines.
“Increasing tobacco taxes is particularly important for protecting young people from initiating or continuing tobacco consumption,” it adds.
Meanwhile, passengers flying from Oman to the UAE have been advised to avoid carrying irregular shaped, oversized or round bags, as these types of luggage will not be checked into flights from this week onwards.
Speaking to Y, an agent from a Muscat-based travel firm said: “Bags that are deformed, or luggage that has been wrapped in blankets and plastic cause a lot of delays during loading of flights. This results in delays prior to taxiing.
“We have received a statement from Dubai Airports stating that those travelling will have to pack their belongings in a suitcase. I believe that the main reason for this change is because it can clog up the loading bay, and even in the flight, these luggages can roll over and damage other’s properties,” added the agent.