KRA steps up fight against illicit trade in excisable goods

NEWS 30/08/2018

KRA has initiated a campaign against illicit alcohol in the Kenyan market. The multi-agency approach will enable the government to close in on those involved in the illicit trade. KRA has also partnered with the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya(ABAK) in stepping up this campaign.

The Authority recently held countrywide sensitizations on identification of illicit alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, whose main aim was to create awareness among the manufacturers, distributors, law enforcement agencies, consumers, and other players in the value chain on the use of the ?Soma Label? application to assess authenticity of tax stamps.

The tax stamps which are applied using the latest track and trace technology provide a key vehicle for protection of the society through minimizing illicit trade in certain excisable goods such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. In addition, the stamps are critical in helping the Government seal revenue leakage loopholes associated with illicit trade.

To fight the menace, the Authority has collaborated with government agencies and industry players such as ABAK in conducting the campaign and has stepped up its intelligence networks. The ?Soma Label? App available on google play store has empowered partner agencies, traders and consumers to distinguish between genuine and fake stamps, hence the possibility of identifying illicit alcoholic beverages. Poor detailing on packages, print, spelling errors and inconsistent lettering are signs of illicit alcoholic beverages.

A dedicated Unit, Market Surveillance Office, domiciled in the Authority?s Domestic Taxes department is the lead in the campaign against illicit trade on alcoholic beverages. The Unit, headed by a Chief Manager has been strategically positioned to handle matters related to the Excise regime on both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Through partnership with agencies and stakeholders, it is envisaged that here will be a significant decline on illicit trade of alcoholic beverages

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