By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The National Revenue Authority (NRA), in a recent press release dated January 22, 2024, announced the imminent launch of the Mandatory Digital Excise Tax Stamps Program for all stakeholders in the excisable goods industry.
This initiative, set to go live on February 1, 2024, will impact manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of excisable goods, including tobacco, wine, spirituous beverages, and beer products.
The introduction of the Excise Tax Stamp Program, initiated in October 2023, is a strategic government policy aimed at enhancing the efficient collection of revenues to support national development programs. Furthermore, the program seeks to protect citizens from harmful and counterfeit goods, deter smuggling activities, and create a level playing field for compliant importers and manufacturers of excisable products.
To facilitate registration and compliance with the excise stamp usage, the government will finance the procurement of the stamps for the first three months (90 days) following the system’s go-live.
During the initial period, importers and manufacturers of excisable products will receive the stamps at no cost. However, after the grace period, the excise stamp will be subject to published fees before issuance to manufacturers or importers.
For importers, the affixing of stamps is an integral part of the customs process. They will be required to attach the stamps either during production at the foreign manufacturer’s facility or before goods are released by customs for public sale. Importers utilizing warehousing facilities must adhere to the standard customs clearance process, ensuring their facilities are suitable for affixing the stamps.
The government emphasizes its commitment to providing training and technical support to taxpayers on the system. Importantly, all importers and manufacturers of excisable products are urged to register for the system and apply for stamps through the Product Tracing Systems (PTS).
In conclusion, the implementation of the Mandatory Digital Excise Tax Stamps Program represents a pivotal step towards enhancing revenue collection, ensuring consumer safety, and fostering fair competition within the excisable goods industry.
Stakeholders are therefore encouraged to proactively engage with the system to ensure a seamless transition and compliance with the new regulations.