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GRA on Warpath Over Tax Stamp Policy

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The Excise Unit and GRA task force hit town yesterday to enforce the excise tax stamp policy at retail points in some parts of Accra.

The task force seized packs of bottle water, alcoholic and assorted drinks which did not have the task stamp embossed on them.

During the exercise, goods which did not have the excise stamps affixed on them were removed from the shelves of some shops visited but they were not seized.

At the De Latyoya shop in Osu several foreign alcoholic drinks and Verna Mineral Water seized from the shop.

The Voltic Retail Center located at Achimota also has several products including, Voltic Water, Coca Cola, Fanta, Heineken among others.

“We want all retailers to ensure that the manufacturers have the stamp on the products before they allow it in their shops. We will continue to visit retail shops and ensure that the tax stamp in compiled with” a Chief Revenue Officer, Kwabena Apau Awua Anto told the media during the visits of some retail shops.

According to the GRA, the grace period is enough hence their decision to make the tax force embark on the seizure exercise.

The Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) which was passed by Parliament in December 2013 stipulates that excisable goods should be affixed with the tax stamps before they are put on the market for sale.

The excise tax stamps are specially designed digital stamps with security features which are affixed on specified excisable goods, whether locally manufactured or imported.

Goods affected by the law include cigarettes and other tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, whether canned or contained in kegs, non-alcoholic carbonated beverages, whether bottled, canned or packaged in any other form, and bottled water.

The enforcement of the act started at the ports on January 1, 2018 and the points of sale on March 1, 2018, with a special task force commencing the first phase of an enforcement exercise in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

Officers from the Ghana Revenue Authority last month stormed the factories of Coca-Cola bottling company and Kasapreko beverage limited to prevent excisable products without tax stamp from entering the market.

The operation was part of measures by the revenue agency to ensure that all manufacturing companies comply with the excise tax stamp policy.

The GRA taskforce was stationed at some key beverage manufacturing firms including Coca-cola, Kasapreko, GIHOC distilleries, Accra Breweries Limited, Blow group of companies among others.

At Coca-Cola, the task force managed to detain some products that were about going out of the factory into the market.

Again, at Bel Group of Companies, producers of Bel-Aqua mineral water and Bel beverage, the task force ceased all products that were ready to be sold but have not been affixed with the tax stamp.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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