Emmanuel Kofi Nti addressing the media at the GRA head office Accra
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has threatened to sanction manufacturers and importers of excisable goods who fail to affix the Excise Tax Stamp on their products.
Beginning next week, the Authority has vowed to ensure full compliance with the Excise Tax Stamp Law (Act 873) nationwide.
The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, who made this known to the media on Monday in Accra, said “the enforcement or compliance exercise will involve the complete detention, seizure and imposition of the required 300% penalty of the duties and taxes involved on culprits.”
GRA, he said, has since February 2018 carried out an appreciable public education to raise the awareness of the public on the stamp policy.
Mr. Nti said that “the days of impunity about non-compliance with the tax laws are completely over. We wish to convey to the public that they cannot choose and select which of the tax laws they want to obey.”
According to the Commissioner-General, all the sanctions enshrined in the law on failure to comply with the affixing of the Excise Tax Stamp would be applied to the letter.
He disclosed that “I wish to assure the public that it has never been and will never be the intention of GRA to embarrass and harass anybody. All that we seek to do is to make sure that there is total compliance with the law.”
The Excise Tax Stamp Law (Act 873, 2013) requires Excise Tax Stamp to be affixed on specified excisable goods, which according to the GRA, include cigarettes and other tobacco products, alcoholic beverages whether bottled, canned, contained in kegs for sale or packaged in other forms, nonalcoholic carbonated beverages, bottled water and other excisable products prescribed by the Minister of Finance, which are either produced locally or imported into Ghana.
“Enforcement of the law started at the ports on January 1, 2018 and at the points of sale on March 1, 2018, after four years of consultations to deal with a number of challenges raised by key stakeholders,” said Mr. Nti.
Mr. Nti indicated that the policy “is being implemented with laudable objectives which 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.”
Going into the second phase of the enforcement exercise, Mr. Nti appealed to the general public, particularly manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers of the specified excisable goods to operate in accordance with Act 873.
He also admonished producers of local nonalcoholic beverages like Sobolo and Brukina that produce on commercial scale to affix the stamp on the products to make them more credible in the eyes of consumers.
By Melvin Tarlue