Customs attached to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) supervised the affixing of Excise Stamps on approximately 3,000 bottles of imported liquor during an exercise at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast on Saturday.
A quantity of the products were detained following a recent enforcement exercise but were subsequently released after the applicable duties and taxes were paid, GRA disclosed yesterday.
“The undertaking is in keeping with the Customs Act and provisions under Section 212 (1) of the Regulations which makes it mandatory for Excise Stamps to be affixed on every package or unit of alcoholic products and every package or unit of tobacco and other manufactured tobacco products and substitutes.”
The authority explained that affixing of excise stamps on units of imported alcohol and tobacco products is an anti-smuggling measure that will aid in enhancing revenue for the country and curtail the illicit trade of these high duty goods.
The measure was announced last year and implemented a few weeks ago in the city.
However, for now, GRA will concentrate on affixing the stamps on liquor because of the upcoming holidays.
The programme was launched in early November, followed by a countrywide exercise by the GRA to ensure every retail stock of alcohol and/or cigarettes is enlisted and stamped.
“In the process, businesses and persons selling alcohol and tobacco will be required to present documents and supporting evidence to validate the legality of the imports and that the full duties and taxes are paid. They will also be required to complete the registration and inventory forms and submit to the Excise Stamp and Environmental Levy Section, Customs, Excise & Trade Operations, GRA. Thereafter, officers will supervise the affixing of stamps on each unit of such products.”
While conducting the exercise on Saturday, the team from the GRA’s Excise Stamp and Environmental Levy Unit also sought to register wholesalers and importers in Essequibo. Training for staff at the Anna Regina, Integrated Regional Tax Office (IRTO) was also provided.
Almost $2B is lost annually from the smuggling of liquor and tobacco products into the country, GRA has said.
The Excise Stamps was designed by Canadian Bank Note. It has security features and allows for bar code scanning to detect fraud.
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