GRA cracks the whip, confiscates items at Achimota Mall

A Custom Officer confiscating some drinks at the mall

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has seized some assorted bottled drinks at Shoprite, within the Achimota Mall in Accra for the tax stamp non-compliance.

Prior to this exercise, the GRA had earlier inspected some beverage producers to monitor their compliance on the new regulation.

The GRA noted that the confiscated items will attract the necessary penalties and sanctions with imprisonment of defaulters as a possible option.

Non-compliance

The Authority inspected the Accra Breweries Limited, Guinness Ghana Ltd, GIHOC Distilleries, SBC Beverages (Pepsi) among others.

At the Accra Breweries and SBC Beverages, producers of Pepsi, the authority instructed that products of the two companies without the affixed stamps should not enter the market, warning it will lead to sanctions.

GRA’s Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Excise Unit, Mr. Kwabena Apau Anto, told the Goldstreet Business during the exercise: “we are happy that Guinness and GIHOC are adhering to the rules and are fixing the stamp on their products. It’s a bit disappointing that managers of the Shoprite are not adhering fully to the rules by stocking their shelves with non-stamped items.”

Some seized drinks being packed into the GRA cargo truck

Custom Officers at various factories

He maintained that the GRA has positioned its officers at the various factories to ensure that any product without the stamp does not leave the factories into the market.

“…that is exactly what we are doing. Previously we used to visit the malls and the shops to tell them to remove the unstamped items from their shelves, but we’ve noticed that as soon as we leave the malls, manufacturers push in more unstamped products,” he said.

Mr. Apau Anto explained that the move to curtail such activities is to tackle the problem at the source and at the factories.

“We have resolved to prevent the shopping malls from taking new consignments without the affixed stamps while disallowing manufacturers from sending unstamped products to the market. Our men are positioned at the various factories and we’ll tackle the non-adherence until 100 percent compliance is achieved,” he noted.

Dispatching night patrol teams

The GRA is also considering night patrol teams at the various manufacturing plants across the country to monitor activities of producers who load their products at night to various outlets.

The authority explained the entire exercise is to maintain standards and protect the health of all citizens.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe