The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has confiscated over 2000 unstamped products from Bee De Eff (BDF) Spirits Limited, which makes gin and waragi.
The products confiscated include Sports gin, Spark Waragi, and Captain Cherry which were distributed in the night.
The URA enforcement operation team told The Nile Post that the product is potentially harmful to consumers’ health.
Ian Rumanyika, the URA acting assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs called upon the public to look out for products that are not stamped for they could pause health and safety challenges to their bodies.
He explained that some manufacturers and importers have resorted to forging these stamps from printing facilities but these will be countered by the stamp verifier technologies.
By March 2021,URA had recovered over Shs 3.5bn in revenue as a result of netting 33 Digital Tracking Solution (DTS) flouters who were caught manufacturing, selling, exporting or distributing gazetted goods without the tax stamps.
DTS was operationalised in November 2019 where six products, namely beer, soda, water, wines, spirits, and cigarettes were gazetted by the minister to apply digital tax stamps and this was mandated for both manufacturers and importers of the said goods.
After several failed attempts at manipulating the production line, some manufacturers and importers decided to outsmart the DTS system’s enforcement team by sending out products using unbranded vehicles, according to the tax body.
The URA enforcement team wondered how seemingly “clean” production lines infiltrated the market with unstamped products.
Section 19 of the Tax Procedure Code (TPC) stipulates that a penalty of shs 50,000,000 or 50% of the value of unstamped goods whichever is higher, is served for failure to affix a digital stamp on select gazetted products.
As a result, manufacturers and importers have been tracked down and tasked to stamp their products and if unstamped products are found at the manufacturer’s premises, the premises are sealed off, owners penalised as stipulated in the law with the task to stamp products going forward.
Also, some beverage manufacturing premises were found unworthy to pack such products for human consumption given the poor level of hygiene on display in the process of packaging their products.
The act of not affixing digital stamps to their products was very telling about the disregard for quality for their customer base as would be required by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).
Rumanyika said the DTS solution is helping to wipe out illicit trading while levelling the unfair business playfield in favour of the compliant taxpayers.
For over one year now, URA has successfully registered a total of 315 businesses on DTS comprising of 247 manufacturers and 68 importers,against an initial target of 107 manufactures and 33 importers.
Earlier this year, URA started the KAKASA campaign to sensitise both traders and consumers on several products including DTS.