KAMPALA — Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement team has raided and impounded goods worth millions for bearing forged digital stamps.
URA acting Manager Eastern region Arnold Turyakira said the goods impounded were found at an Asian-owned wine and spirit store in Busia Town.
He told reporters that this was part of URA’s crackdown against non compliant traders and manufacturers.
Mr. Turyakira said most of the goods had forged stamps while others had no stamps at all. He added the body had already started investigating the source of the forged stamps.
URA commenced implementation of Digital Tax Stamps on November,1, 2019 to combat the production, importation and supply of counterfeit goods and to also boost domestic revenue.
Digital Tax Stamps are physical paper stamps with security features and codes. They are applied to goods or their packaging to enable manufacturers and traders to track a product’s movement. This will enable the government to easily monitor tax compliance.
This is in addition to quick response code (QR code) that will allow distributors, retailers, and consumers to use an app on their smartphones to verify the authenticity of the products.
The new stamps solution is part of URA’s scheme to combat illicit trade, close revenue leakages while managing compliance of some multinational companies that exploit gaps and in the tax collection architecture.
According to the tax body, goods in the category of water, soda, beer, spirits, and cigarettes, among others will be required to bear Digital Tax Stamps, failure of which distributors or manufacturers of such goods will be penalised.
Uganda is not the first in the region to embrace Digital Tax Stamps, noting it has been implemented across the region including in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya.