Manufacturers and importers of wines and liquors will now be required to affix tax stamps on their products as a measure of protecting these goods from unfair competition, according to Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Previously, it was only dealers in cigarettes that were required to affix tax stamps on all cigarette products manufactured or imported in the country.
The call was made recently, by the Deputy Commissioner for Large Taxpayer’s Office, Ben Kagarama, while meeting with importers and manufacturers of wines and liquors at RRA headquarters in Kimihurura.
Kagarama noted that this was in accordance with the ministerial order No009/10 of 20/08 determining and establishing consumption tax on some imported and locally manufactured products.
“Tax stamps are meant to protect local and authorised dealers against unfair competition from smuggled products” Kagarama said.
He added that it will also help RRA to collect more revenues since the quantity of wines and liquors imported will now be known by the tax body.
Kagarama explained that local dealers who buy from foreign manufacturers will be required to provide a list of their manufacturers to RRA in order to directly supply tax stamps for purposes of security of local dealers.
The ministerial order also provides for a transitional period of four months after which all imported wines and liquors will have to bear a tax stamp issued by RRA.
In an interview, some taxpayers expressed that they were optimistic that the application of tax stamps comes at the right time adding that it will serve as the best mechanism by the government to fight against fraudsters in the business.
Ben Zimurinda, one of the local dealers in wines and liquors products said “it is really a surprise for us. We have been waiting for this method and we hope it will assist in encouraging more traders to invest into the business since they will now be assured of security from unauthorized dealers”.
Stephen Ngarambe from Dubai World Rwanda who also attended the meeting urged all dealers to fully collaborate with RRA to ensure effective implementation of tax stamps.
Rwanda becomes the 5th African country to apply tax stamps on liquors and wines following Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt and Morocco.