Restaurants in Azerbaijan not to be fined for cash sale of alcohol (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 12:28)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.15

By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

No administrative actions will be taken for cash sale of alcoholic beverages in public catering facilities in Azerbaijan, an official representative of the country's Ministry of Taxes told reporters Dec.15.

Natig Shirinov, head of the Main Department of Tax Policy and Strategic Research of the Taxes Ministry said that the alcohol sold in the public catering facilities is a part of the menu and is not served in unopened bottles.

Therefore, no fines will be charged for this, he added.

First Deputy Minister of Taxes Natig Amirov said that the main purpose of taking such administrative actions is to stimulate non-cash payments in the country.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree last week on applying amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulate a ban on the sale for cash of alcoholic drinks, as well as the wholesale of tobacco products.

Under the amendments, the sale of excise goods for cash (except for retail sale of tobacco products) in small quantities (up to 50 manats), and the purchase of such goods in small quantities with an aim to subsequently sell them will be fined for 100 manats.

In cases when the purchase price ranges from 50 manats up to 1,000 manats, a fine at an amount from 1,000 manats to 2,000 manats, or a punishment in the form of correctional labor for up to one year, or imprisonment for one year will be applied.

In cases when the sum exceeds 1,000 manats a punishment in the form of correctional labor up to two years, or imprisonment for up to two years will be applied.

At the same time, the amendments allow the retail sale of cigarettes for cash in small quantities, that is, for personal use only.

If cigarettes are purchased for their subsequent sale, their cost should be paid only through bank or through payment cards.

Otherwise, a penalty in the amount of 100 manats will be applied.

The changes will come into effect on January 1, 2016.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

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