The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has taken action against tax evasion by impounding three container trucks carrying over 13,000 packs of assorted drinks without the required tax stamps.
The confiscated consignments, discovered on June 29, were found to be lacking the stamps that should have been affixed to each bottle.
According to the Head of Excise Unit at GRA, Kwabena Apau, investigations are underway to identify those involved, and the GRA is committed to ensuring that appropriate penalties are paid and prosecution pursued, if necessary.
The GRA will also determine the extent of lost tax revenue and the penalties and levies needed for recovery.
During the operation, it was also revealed that stolen tax stamps were being circulated within the system.
More than 500 packs of assorted soda and fizzy drinks, affixed with stolen tax stamps, were confiscated at the GRA’s VAT House.
Mr. Apau explained that some businesses were diverting tax stamps to be used on goods from third-party businesses, with the information on the stamps not reflecting the name of the third-party business. The GRA has vowed to crack down on this practice.
The tax stamp policy, implemented by the government in 2018, aims to discourage the trade of unapproved excisable products.
Non-compliant beverages are not to be sold to the public or remain in the Ghanaian market.
The GRA has warned that manufacturers and traders who fail to affix tax stamps to their products will face appropriate sanctions.
The Excise Duty (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1093) further expands the scope of the tax stamp requirement to include sweetened beverages and electronic smoking products.
This year, the GRA has set a revenue target of GH¢106 billion, with GH¢28.5 billion expected to be collected by the Customs Division.