Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has declared that the Commission will from next week embark on a full implementation of the Excise Tax Stamp Policy.
This final phase implementation process will involve seizure, confiscation and prosecution of non-compliant members of the public who do not affix the tax stamp on their excisable products.
According to Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the government has given enough grace period to both manufacturing firms and retailers to deal with challenges associated with the policy for more than six months hence the need for full implementation.
In a media briefing Monday, Mr Kofi Nti advised the public to desist from buying any excisable product from the market without a tax stamp.
“I want to remind the public that this is the last chance and the next operation will be enforced to the latter. Our strong tagline for this final phase is – No tax stamp, no Purchase,” he declared.
The policy was introduced by the Ministry of Finance to check the inflow of illicit products as well as getting away with unhealthy products on the Ghanaian Market.
Earlier, the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana (FBAG) threatened to withdraw all locally manufactured products from the market if the government goes ahead with the implementation of the Tax Stamp Policy on March 1st.
Local manufacturers in Ghana are worried that the implementation of the Tax Stamp Policy has the potential of collapsing local manufacturing companies.
Executive Secretary of FBAG, Samuel Aggrey, said all attempts to draw the attention of the government on their concerns have proved futile, hence the need to take drastic steps to drive home their concerns.
“Active players who are going to be heavily impacted by the project had oftentimes pointed out difficulties inherent in it if the mode is allowed to roll out the way it is to be done as stated by project implementers,” he stated in a media engagement.
In a response the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana, the government also threatened to sanction businesses that fail to comply with the March 1st deadline for the implementation of the Tax Stamp Policy.
“Eligible businesses are respectfully advised to comply with the 1st March 2018 deadline or risk prescribed sanctions under the law,” Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng said in a statement.
The Excise Tax Stamp Scheme is in accordance with the Excise Tax Stamp Act 2013, Act 873.
The Excise Tax Stamp is a specially designed digital stamp with security features which will be affixed on specified excisable goods in Ghana whether locally manufactured or imported to show that taxes and duties have been paid or will be paid on them.
The objectives are to:
– control the importation and local production of excisable goods for revenue purposes
– check illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of excisable products
– check under-declaration of goods
– protect and increase tax revenue