Wednesday, March 22

MOFEA, GRA sign digital excise tax stamps solution with SICPA

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The agreement, signed at the Ministry of Finance, is part of the reform priorities in the GRA’s corporate strategy plan 2020-2024.

Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the Minister of Finance, Seedy Keita, said the GRA, government, business community and the public will benefit from the implementation of the agreement.

“The full implementation of this solution will give GRA among other things access to accurate real-time or near real-time production data of locally produced excisable goods; differentiate between illicit and genuinely imported excisable goods; provide revenue assurance on taxes and levies being collected from telecom services; and distinguish genuinely imported fuel products from illicit fuel through fuel marking,” he said.

Minister Keita added that in terms of benefit to the government, the introduction of the revenue mobilisation solutions will be “a game changer in terms of revenue collection which will go a long way to supporting government development programmes”.

“For industries, the stamping of their products will distinguish them from both fake illicit products. This will protect their market share from unfair competition from fake and illicit products. And the public will gain through the consumption of genuinely imported and locally produced excisable goods.”

As part of requirements, he added, the government is required to put in place the necessary laws and regulations that would facilitate the smooth implementation of the solution.

Also, commenting on the benefits of the agreement, GRA’s Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe said: “The benefits of this solution touch all actors of the economy.

“For producers, it helps monitor their market share as it serves as a major deterrent to smuggling and dumping of substandard products thus encouraging fair competition while for consumers it will ensure quality assurances as all products consume within the country will be tested for quality and validity through a digital tax stamp.”

On the side of the government, he explained, the agreement would combat tax evasion and further inform the government on the size of the economy through improved data quality for policy making and planning and enhance visibility of economic activities in the telecoms and manufacturing industries.

“On public health, the solution will help ensure authentication of products and hence deter the influx of fake and unhealthy products in the country, as consumers with the help of a GRA scanner will be able to authenticate that the product consumed is genuinely imported/produced and has paid all the relevant taxes to the state,” he said, adding: “It will also increase visibility for tax administration which enhance revenue performance to fund critical government priorities and improve data quality to guide policy reforms.”