The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Taskforce on Thursday confiscated assorted beverage products without Excise Tax Stamps affixed on them in Accra.
The products are packs of red bull energy drink, coca cola zero sugar, Canada dry drink (beer), and reckers pills, a foreign alcoholic drink.
The products were confiscated from the Royal Love Enterprise in Okaishie in the central business district of Accra and an unnamed warehouse during a monitoring and enforcement excise to check the level of tax compliance with the Excise Tax Stamp policy.
The Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) required that excise tax stamps shall be affixed on specified excisable products manufactures in Ghana or imported into the country.
The implementation of the Excise Tax Stamp policy started on January 1, 2018, with enforcement at the points of entry while point of sale enforcement started on March 1, 2018.
The importance of the tax stamp policy was to enable the Authority to monitor the exact quantities declared by manufacturers and importers for tax purposes and ensure that the products are not counterfeited to protect the health of consumers and help generate more revenue for the nation.
The Chief Revenue Officer, Excise Division of GRA, Kwabena Apau Anto, at a media briefing after the exercise, said the exercise was to educate the public on the launch of the Authority’s mobile application to authenticate tax stamps on beverage products and the need to ensure compliance.
He explained that the application dubbed “Ghana Tax Stamp Authenticator” was to help consumers to detect the genuineness of products sold in retail shops.
The application allows the consumers to scan and validate the excise tax stamps affixed on excisable products such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
He said GRA has noticed that, there were many imported products that were not affixed with tax stamps and that there is the need to streamline the system and prevent revenue leakages.
Touching on the seized products, Mr. Anto said after 31 days if the owners fail to report to the Authority’s headquarters to explain why they failed to have the stamps on their products, they would forfeit them.
Additionally, he said, the Authority would trace the manufacturers of the seized products to ascertain why the products were not affixed with tax stamps and cautioned retailers not to display their wares or products for sale without tax stamps on them.