Wholesalers and retailers of imported liquor are being granted a grace period.
According to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), it is giving importers and others until the end of this month to apply for Excise Stamps. After that, action will be taken.
Commissioner-General Godfrey Statia, last week, made it clear that GRA will be seizing bottles of vodka and rum which do not have the Excise Tax from March 1.
GRA in a separate statement said that importers, retailers and resellers of alcohol products should note that February 28, 2018 is the cut-off date for the application of Excise Stamps on imported alcohol products, excluding beer, that are currently in inventory.
“After this date, any unstamped alcohol products may be deemed illegal and may be seized and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Laws.”
In addition, importers, businesses, and persons are reminded that purchasing any alcohol products for resale without the affixed Excise Stamps is contrary to law.
Stakeholders can complete the registration and inventory forms on GRA’s website and submit to the Excise Stamps and Environmental Levy Section, Customs, Excise & Trade Operations, GRA.
GRA said that the affixing of excise stamps on units of alcohol and tobacco products is an anti-smuggling measure and is being carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
Last year, the measures were implemented, with GRA officials starting with liquor. It is now moving now to do the same with cigarettes.
Cigarette and alcohol smuggling have been a major pain for Government in recent years, with the Coalition Administration indicating that significant revenues are lost as a result.
In fact, revenues from the smuggling of the two items amount to $2B annually.
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