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95% of products in UER have excise tax stamp – GRA

PThe Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has observed that the level of excise tax stamp compliance by retailers in the Upper East Region has been good.

The Senior Revenue Officer with Excise Unit of the GRA, James Cudjoe, made this disclosure to the media in Bolgatanga last Wednesday during an excise tax stamp compliance enforcement exercise in the region.

He said about 95 per cent of the products in the shops of retailers in the region had the excise tax stamp affixed on them and the traders were steadily complying with the provisions of the act.

Mr Cudjoe revealed that the compliance was high in areas such as Bawku, Navrongo and their environs, and the retailers were very cooperative.

The excise tax stamp is a specifically designed stamp with digital and other security features, which is supposed to be affixed on specified excisable products produced locally or imported to provide enough guarantee of product authenticity as well as show that taxes and duties have been paid or will be paid.

He explained that the tax stamp policy was borne out of the Excise Stamp Act passed by Parliament in 2013, Act 873 which prescribes that all alcoholic and non- alcoholic carbonated beverages, bottled water, cigarettes and other tobacco products should be embossed with the tax stamp before being released to the market or sold to the customers.

Mr Cudjoe explained that the exercise was part of efforts instituted by the revenue mobilization institution through the Ministry of Finance to ensure that all distributors, wholesalers and retailers complied with the excise tax stamp policy.

“The exercise is to control excisable goods for revenue purposes, check the illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of excisable products, check under-declaration of goods and protect and increase revenue mobilisation for national development,” he said.

To ensure this, Mr Cudjoe said a six-month ultimatum was given to all distributers, wholesalers and retailers, which took effect from March 1, 2018, to have the tax stamp affixed on their products, adding that about three months ago, the GRA carried out an education and warning exercise nationwide.

The Upper East special revenue mobilisation task force inspected many retail stores, including Lesken Enterprise Limited, Club Depor, Abrantie Annex and My Hill Limited, and discovered that almost all of their products were affixed with the excise tax stamp.

He said a few products without the tax stamp were seized, explaining that the exercise was to ensure that every excisable product consumed in the country was accounted for to ensure that the country mobilised enough revenue to finance development projects.

Mr Cudjoe, therefore, admonished all retailers who had their products impounded and have within 30 days to petition the Commissioner General of the GRA to explain why their products should not be seized.

He warned retailers to desist from accepting goods from distributers who do not have the excise tax stamp affixed on them, and urged members of the public not to patronise excisable products which do not have the stamp.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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