Tanzanian beverage manufacturers, importers to affix products with digital stamps by end of January

TANZANIA – The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has set January 31, 2021 as the deadline for manufacturers and importers to ensure all their products are affixed with the Electronic Tax Stamp (ETS).

The tax watch-dog rolled out the first phase of ETS in January 2019 where the stamps were issued to 19 factories that produce alcoholic beverages.

This was followed by the second phase which commenced last year August, focusing on soft beverages such as carbonated drinks and water.

The third phase which is set to be completed by the end of this month commenced in November last year targeting all fruit and vegetable juices in addition to recorded music and film products.

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The authority according to Ipp Media, has indicated that the introduction of ETS is part of enforcement of Section 5 (1) of the Tanzania Revenue Act Chapter 399 R.E of 2019 which requires all excisable goods to be affixed with the digital stamps.

The system replaces the hitherto physical paper tax stamps and is meant to curb cheating of taxes through under declaration by some dishonest manufacturers and importers.

ETS will enable the tax man to track on real-time actual production at factories and imports and eventually facilitates collection of requisite taxes and curb fake products in the local market.

In the latest phase, Commissioner General of TRA, Dr Edwin Mhede has directed manufacturers and importers to declare volumes of the products they had in stock when the ETS was introduced so that the authority can track new products.

They were also instructed to register their brands and the quantity of the stamps they will require for a year.

With the move Tanzania joins its East African counter-part Kenya who introduced the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) stamp on non-alcoholic beverage last year.

This was the second phase of implementation of the system after it was first undertaken on alcoholic drinks and cigarettes in 2013, which helped increase excise tax from Sh700 million to the current Sh5.6 billion monthly.

EGMS has also contributed immensely in the fight against illicit trade and levelled the playing ground for traders as well as protect consumers from substandard products.

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Neighbouring Uganda also kick started plans of rolling out the use of digital tax stamps and expand the range of products covered in it last year, to enable the government take measures to curb tax leakages thus earning higher revenue in the financial year 2020/2021.

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