In its ongoing effort to bolster its anti-smuggling capabilities at the level of Customs and Enforcement, the Excise Stamp and Environmental Levy Unit of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has embarked on a countrywide Duty-Free alcohol stamping exercise.
The stamps, which were manufactured with detailed security features will enable Customs and Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) to easily identify and differentiate the Duty-Free alcohol from those that are duty-paid.
The endeavour started on June 1, 2020 when officers from the unit visited duty-free shops (including warehouse facilities) to register retailers/importers, verify their inventories and supervise the placement of stamps on all duty-free alcohol.
GRA, on Wednesday, explained that as part of the process, importers/retailers and duty-free/warehouse operators are required to produce relevant documents and/or evidence to verify legal acquisition of the alcohol for sale. Officers then staged a few demonstrations after which the importers/retailers were tasked with completing the process under the watchful eye of Customs Officers.
“The cost of each stamp is G$30. Persons are reminded that payments should only be made to the cashiers at the GRA’s Headquarters or any of its locations countrywide.”
GRA said that at present, the Excise Stamp and Environmental Levy Unit is about 80 percent complete in its countrywide task, having recently completed stamping at outgoing Duty-Free Shops at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and moving apace at various warehouse facilities.
“At the culmination of the exercise, importers/retailers who sell un-stamped alcohol may be subject to seizures, penalties and/or prosecution in accordance with the laws of Guyana.”
The tax authority explained that the implementation of the Duty-Free stamps is an extension of the successful Excise Stamp Control programme launched in 2017 to curb the smuggling of imported alcohol and tobacco products and safeguard Government’s revenues.
GRA has been complaining that millions of dollars in taxes are lost annually because of smuggling and other tax evasion activities by importers.
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