Qatar-bound OFWs Warned Vs Bringing Cigarettes

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has warned Filipinos traveling to Qatar that the country has now banned all tobacco derivatives, equipment and other materials related to use of tobacco.

In an advisory, the POEA cautioned Filipino workers that they may be subjected to legal liability if they are found to be in possession of the banned items upon entering Qatar.

“OFWs are advised to be wary of these prohibitions and should never attempt to carry any of these banned products when travelling to Qatar,” the agency said.

Earlier, POEA received an advice from the Embassy of State of Qatar about the ban on tobacco products and materials used in use and production of the product.

Among the banned items are: chewing tobacco in any form; electronic cigarette, electronic shisha, and any product similar to it or made in any form of tobacco; Swaika (substance made from tobacco products and that can be taken by absorption, chewing or inhalation); cigarette machines; and advertising, promotion, or sponsorship materials that seek to introduce any tobacco product.

OFWs bring with them the banned items may risk prison or fines.

“OFWs and other passengers entering the State of Qatar will be subject to legal liability if found in possession of banned tobacco derivatives, equipment, and other materials in relation to tobacco usage,” the POEA said.

The ban stemmed from Qatar’s Law No. 10 of 2016 on the Control of Tobacco and its Derivatives, which provides strict measures to curb the import and use of tobacco products.

Under the said law, those found violating the relevant articles may face a prison term not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding QAR100,000 (P1.38 million).