Story: News Desk
Officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have seized 12,000 cartons of drinks with no tax stamps from importers.
This was made known to the media when the Excise Unit of GRA embarked on a check operation at the GRA Customs Laboratory Facility at Airport City in Accra, where the confiscated products were stored.
During the operation, GNA noted that some trucks were stocked with drinks without tax stamps while there were some with stamps on them.
In an interview with GNA, Mr Kwaben Apau, Head of Excise Unit of GRA, said any item imported or manufactured in Ghana must have stamps to enhance revenue collection on the goods.
He said all imported products were to be stamped at source before entry into the country.
However, the GRA Examination Team is yet to confirm how the 12,000 cartons of unstamped drinks were brought into the country.
He said GRA would contact the importers of the products to ensure the payments of the taxes on the items before they were sent to the market.
Mr Apau said products without stamps resulted in loss of revenue for the country, adding that it would affect the economy and standards of living.
When asked about the confiscated drinks with stamps, he said that the stamps were not from the manufacturers of the exact product.
The stamps are of different brands to different manufacturers; therefore, taxes were not paid for them, he said.
“All these practices are what we always talk about, they are causing financial loss to the country,” he added.
He urged the public to download the GRA Tax Stamp Authenticator App to enable citizens check for the authenticity of products before purchasing.
“The app tells the genuineness of the product and tells that the taxes on the products are paid, he said.
Mr Nelson Bright Atsu, Chief Revenue Officer in charge of Compliance at the Excise Unit, GRA, said the government Introduced Excise Tax Stamp Policy on some products such as carbonated soft drinks, malt drinks, bottled water, tobacco and tobacco products, spirits, and beer.
These products were brought to the attention of Ghanaians that, these products either imported or manufactured here must have fixed stamps despite payment of duties and taxes
He said tax stamps facilities had been established at most entry points to ensure these products were stamped
Mr Atsu said some importers were not willing to pay taxes, and they would be sanctioned according to the law.
“The GRA is working tirelessly as part of its mandate to ensure the collection of revenue for sustainable development,” he added.
The Ghana Revenue Authority is to ensure maximum compliance with all relevant tax laws in order to ensure a sustainable revenue stream for the nation, ensure trade facilitation and control the safe flow of goods across the country’s borders.