Tax inspectors are expected to soon visit importers and retailers of alcohol and tobacco products with the aim of affixing excise stamps.
The idea is to track smuggled items, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) said yesterday.
The special stamps, which will include self-adhesive stamps, are reportedly being introduced under an agreement with Canadian Bank Note, the same company that runs the local lotto company in Guyana.
While GRA did not delve into details on its announcement posted on its Facebook page, the stamps will have barcode scanning features to reduce fraud. This was announced a few months ago.
With indications of a huge smuggling racket over the years involving alcohol and cigarettes, it was being estimated that Guyana loses an estimated $2B annually in taxes, GRA disclosed earlier this year.
Under the special stamping system, enforcement officials could make a determination right away whether taxes have been paid.
The stamps will be affixed to the products imported into the country at the time of clearance.
Excise Tax is an indirect tax levied on alcoholic beverages, motor vehicles, tobacco products and petroleum products produced or sold, domestic and foreign, within Guyana.
According to GRA in its notice posted on its Facebook page yesterday, GRA’s Customs, Excise and Trade Operations (CE&TO) has launched an application of Excise Stamps on imported alcohol (excluding beer), and tobacco products.
“Importers, businesses and persons selling alcohol and tobacco products are hereby notified that Customs officers will commence visits to premises for existing inventories to initiate the stamping process. The officers will request documents and supporting evidence to verify that the items were legally imported in Guyana.”
GRA urged importers, businesses, and persons selling these products to complete the registration and inventory forms on GRA’s website and submit to the Excise Stamp and Environmental Levy Section, Customs, Excise & Trade Operations, GRA.
“The affixing of Excise Stamps on units of alcohol and of tobacco products is an anti-smuggling measure, and is being carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01. Once officers are satisfied that the products were legally imported with the payment of the full duties and taxes, they will supervise the affixing of stamps on each unit of such products.”
In accordance with Regulation 215 (3) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01, the costs per stamp will be as follows to be paid to the GRA’s cashier – self-adhesive ones for tobacco – $8.00 with one stamp for the alcohol selling for $16.00.
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