Officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) stormed some retail shops in Accra yesterday to inspect tax stamps on consumable products.
The exercise was aimed at ensuring that retailers comply with the law and sell consumable products with the newly introduced tax stamps from the Authority.
The Excise Unit and GRA Taskforce confiscated products without the tax stamps and loaded them onto a truck bound for the GRA head office.
Some of the affected shops included the De-Latoya Enterprise in Osu, Voltic Retail Centre and N.J. Ventures, both in Achimota and the Gbawe Depot of Accra Breweries Ltd, which had several beverages and bottled water.
Speaking to the media, Chief Revenue Officer, Kwabena Apau Awua Anto, disclosed that they visited manufacturing firms on 2nd October in an attempt to stop the supply of goods without tax stamps to the retailers.
Retailers, wholesalers, distributors were cautioned not to take any product from any manufacturers without the stamps because the law places a duty on them to sell only products with the tax stamps.
“We have given stamps to all suppliers,” he said, adding that penalties of up to 300% of the products’ value would be imposed on defaulters who may face a sentence of five years.
He stressed that GRA would visit the markets to ensure strict compliance with the law, adding that importers are also expected to affix the stamps on their products.
“Exercise is simultaneously ongoing in all 10 regions of the country, and we want to tell the retailers, distributors and wholesalers to compel the manufacturers and the importers to affix the stamps on the products,” Mr. Anto stressed.
The general public is also implored to report to the nearest GRA office any shop or retail center that sells items without the tax stamps.
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 this law include cigarettes and other tobacco products- alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (canned or bottled), carbonated beverages and bottled water.