The Special Surveillance and Monitoring Unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has embarked on an operation to inspect tax stamps at some retail shops.
The team led by Mr. Kwabena Apau Anto, Head of Excise Unit, first made a stop at De-Latoya, a retail shop at Osu, where some items; bottle water, soft drinks, champagne among others were seized.
Mr. Apau Anto speaking to the media said, the monitoring unit is visiting retail shops to inspect that shop owners were selling products which has the tax stamps affixed on them.
“Nobody is to sell any product that does not have the tax stamp affixed on them, we want to make sure that, distributors and retailers sell products which has the stamps on them” he said.
According to him, the team first engaged with manufacturers and insisted on them to affix the tax stamps on their products before they are released unto the market and it was time to check that those directives are strictly adhered to.
“On October 3rd we visited some manufacturing firms where we engaged them on the need to affix the tax stamps on their products, we are here to ensure that they abide by our directives” he added.
Transferring tax stamps is illegal
The Special Surveillance and Monitoring Unit also paid a visit to Van distribution, an Accra Brewery Limited distributor at Gbawe where the team seized some sizable items which did not have the stamps affixed on them. Protesting the actions of the surveillance team, the manager of the firm said they had the stamps and they always make sure the stamps are affixed on the products before distribution.
Mr. Apau Anto reacting to him said, “they are not supposed to give you the stamps, these stamps are supposed to be affixed on the product before they leave the premises of the manufacturer” adding “this is an offense which is tantamount to 5years imprisonment.”
The Tax Stamps
The Tax Stamp Policy, which emanates from the Excise Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873), was, on Friday, 9th October 2017, launched in Accra.
Tax Stamps are small stickers with security features supplied by government to some manufacturers and importers to be affixed to their products before they are released onto the market.
The presence of the Tax Stamps on a product, provides enough guarantee of product authenticity.