Manufacturers and importers of wines and liquors will, beginning early next year, be required to affix tax stamps on their products to curb unfair competition from smugglers.
This was said by the Deputy Commissioner General and Commissioner for Customs Services Department, Richard Tusabe, while meeting with importers of wines and liquors at RRA headquarters in Kigali on Thursday last week.
RRA granted a transitional period of two months to all dealers after which all imported wines and liquors will have to bear a tax stamp issued by the tax body.
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 move is in line with the ministerial order 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,” Tusabe said.
He added that the move is also aimed at protecting citizens from illegal wines and liquors.
He noted that it will also help RRA to collect more revenues since the quantity of wines and liquors imported will now be clear to the tax body.
Some taxpayers are 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.
Godfrey Nkusi, a local wines and liquors dealer said: “It is really a surprise for us...we hope it will assist in encouraging more traders to invest into the business since they will now be assured of security from unauthorised dealers.”
Rwanda becomes the fifth African country to apply tax stamps on liquors and wines after Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt and Morocco.