URA To Introduce App to Enable Consumers Verify Products.
Written by Derrick Asaba on March 9, 2021
By Derrick Asaba
In a bid to create a fair marketing ground between taxpayers and consumers, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) seeks to introduce a mobile app to enable consumers to tell products that are authentic and not.
Last year, URA gazetted products that are supposed to have digital tax stamps like water, soda, waragi and beer. However, up to date some products that are not stamped are still supplied on the market which information was revealed to the tax body to take up action.
Speaking to journalists last week at the company headquarters in Nakawa, the Acting Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs at URA, Ian Rumanyika showed off products that belonged to BDF like Sports gin and Spark Waragi which hadn’t been stamped as required by the law.
“We got over 2000 cartons that are unstamped which means that this particular manufacturer, BDF will be fined the taxes that are supposed to be paid using digital tax stamps by double or Shs.50M whichever is higher,” Rumanyika noted.
In a continued effort to align out manufacturers who dodge paying tax, Rumanyika called upon the public to look out for products that are not stamped and don’t bear the UNBS stamp.
“Our plea to taxpayers is that these products have unique features that anyone can tell. In fact, a few months from now we will be introducing a mobile app that will enable consumers to tell products that are authentic and not,” he said.
People were claiming that URA had not done enough sensitization to make people aware but earlier on this year, URA started a campaign called ‘Kakasa campaign’ to sensitize both the traders and consumers on digital tracking solutions and digital tax stamps and results have so far yielded.
URA believes that once consumers are empowered that these products must have stamps, they will go for that and that’s how the digital stamps will so much be effective to this economy.
This is one way as well of fighting illicit trade that had increased on the market hence increasing both the tax money and sales of the manufacturer because they are selling more genuine products.
The Digital Tracking Solution was introduced by URA in partnership with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and became effective on October I, 2020. Digital tax stamps were introduced as a solution expected to enable the government to address challenges of the inability to track goods right from the production lines and customs entry points to the final points of sale, illicit trade and counterfeit products, tax evasion, and smuggling.
In January 2020, beverages and spirits manufacturers were among the first products chosen to have stamps because they are high-risk products. URA closed the premises of four manufacturers in Kampala for continuing to produce products without putting digital stamps on them as the tax body investigated further.
These were Cloud Water World, Prime Care International, John Distillers, and Amron International.