Officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) yesterday removed thousands of products without excise tax stamps from shops and malls in the Kumasi metropolis.
The products removed included local and imported fruit beverages, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic and carbonated beverages and bottled water.
In some of the shops, including Melcom and Opoku Trading at Adum, Game and Shoprite in the Kumasi City Mall, the officials were cautioned and advised to affix the tax stamps before displaying or selling the beverages.
“When we come here next time, we will not caution but arrest and prosecute,” the leader of the enforcement team, Mr Yaw Boamah, warned the officials of the shop.
He also urged consumers to boycott products that were not affixed with the tax stamps to compel shop owners to abide by the law.
Mr Boamah stressed that it was in the interest of the Ghanaian consumer to purchase products affixed with tax stamps because it was an indication that they had gone through the right processes and also been vetted by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
He added that one of the ways to encourage businesses to use the tax stamps was for the public to patronise only products that had tax stamps.
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When that happened, he said, good citizens and companies who paid taxes for national development would be encouraged while the nation wreckers would be out of business.
He explained that the Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (ACT 873), which was passed by Parliament in 2013 and received presidential assent in 2014, empowered the GRA to implement the affixing of excise tax stamp on specific excisable goods before they were delivered ex-factory, cleared from any port or presented for sale at any commercial level in Ghana.
At Opoku Trading, the Finance Manager, Mr Eric Acheampong, complained about the move by the GRA officials because according to him, he had been to the offices of the GRA but could not get the stamps for the products they had before the coming into force of the stamps.
He said the GRA officials promised to solve his problem but unfortunately when they visited, they only gave educational materials.