URA to Penalize Digital Tax Stamps Evaders Starting This Month

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said it will start punishing manufacturers, importers, distributors and trade agents of gazetted goods that do not Digital Tax Stamps as required by the law.

URA started implementing the Digital Tracking Solution (DTS) for gazetted goods like soda, beer, spirits, wine, mineral water and tobacco products like cigarettes on 1st November 2019. Producers and importers were given a three months transition period.

All manufacturers and importers of the gazetted goods were required to have submitted information necessary for registration of DTS by 31st January 2020

According to URA, majority of manufacturers and importers have complied with the requirement with 27 of them having completed the registration for the use of DTS as of 15th January 2020 while 11 importers have completed their DTS registration and are ready to commence affixation of the digital stamps on their imported products before taking them to markets

Some of the manufactures and Importers that have complied include Leaf Tobacco & Commodities U limited, Harris International Limited, Crown Beverages Limited, Wavah Water Ltd, Aqua Cooling Limited, NC Beverages Limited, Mukwano Industries U Ltd, Nile Breweries Limited- Jinja and Mbarara Branches, Century Bottling Company- Mbarara and Namanve Branch, Rwenzori Bottling Company Limiter,  Ice Love, Uganda Breweries limited,  Vic Land Distributors, Uganda Duty Free Sales limited, Steven Tobacco Company limited, Kavya Investment Limited, Karuka Agencies Limited among others

“From 1st February 2020, the URA field inspectors will be on the lookout for any gazetted goods not bearing Digital Tax Stamps for immediate seizure and applications of necessary sanctions. The public is notified that they should take note of deadlines attached to having products on their shelves without Digital stamps,” said Ian Rumanyika,  Ag. Assistant Commissioner Public & Corporate Affairs URA

According to Rumanyika, DTS will modernize URA’s monitoring & control of the market of excisable goods, strengthen fair market conditions, and help URA to fight illicit trade practices, such as smuggling, counterfeiting, under/over declaration, by monitoring their origin.

“It will allow URA to drastically reduce tax evasion and other forms of fiscal fraud related to production, import, distribution and export of highly-taxed products such as cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, contributing to reducing the informal economy but also protect consumers against risks caused by products issued from illicit trade, which escape controls on quality and safety, and are often harmful and of sub-standard quality,” Rumanyika added

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