Manufacturers and importers who fail to affix the new tax stamp stickers on products before making it available for sale will from today lose their products.
This is because the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has threatened that such products would be removed from various point of sales and confiscated.
The warning comes on the back of the Authority's final inspection exercise in Accra yesterday to enforce compliance of the tax stamp policy, which came into effect in March this year.
The Melcom Plus, West Hills Mall, and 37 Max Mart, all shopping centres in Accra were inspected and had some products which lacked the tax stamp stickers cleared off the shelves.
GIHOC Distilleries, manufacturers of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, which was also inspected, had installed three stamp fixing machines to help in its operations.
Briefing the media, Mr Akwasi Bobie-Ansah, Head, Communication and Public Relations Unit, GRA, said the exercise was to ensure that the Tax Stamp Policy, which emanates from the Excise Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873), was fully enforced and complied with.
He said the taskforce observed that some manufacturers and importers were engaged in selective compliance, that is, fixing the stamps on some products and leaving out others and urged for total compliance to avoid sanctions.
He noted that the GRA had provided adequate training to the taskforce to ensure improved monitoring and enforcement of the policy.
The Tax Stamp Policy was launched in September last year by the GRA in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance as part of government's efforts to address the counterfeiting of products on the Ghanaian market and to improve revenue assurance.
Manufacturers and importers were to be supplied with small stickers with security features by government to be affixed to their products before they were released onto the market.
The presence of the tax stamps on a product, therefore, provides enough guarantee of product authenticity.
The government disclosed that in accordance with Act 873, the implementation of the policy would begin with tobacco, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, bottled water and textiles.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General, GRA, during the launch, explained that in the implementation of the policy, local manufacturers and importers of excisable products were required to register with GRA to enable them obtain the stamp.
Furthermore, he said, whereas local manufacturers were required to affix the stamp on each product unit before the product was delivered out of the factory, importers of excisable goods had the option of affixing stamp on product by the authorised foreign manufacturer of the importer, affixing product with stamp at the point of entry in a specialised facility, affixing product with stamp in a place or premises approved by GRA.
Mr Nti urged manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers to clear the stocks of all excisable goods without the stamp to ensure a smooth transition.
He warned that any person who displayed, sold or distributed excisable goods without the stamp would be sanctioned as per provisions of the law.