The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has launched a mobile application (App), dubbed ‘Ghana Tax Stamp Authenticator’, that helps consumers to detect the genuineness of products sold in retail shops.
The app allows the consumers to scan and validate the excise tax stamps affixed on excisable products such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products.
Commissioner-General of GRA, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, who launched the app in Accra, said the Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) required that excise tax stamps shall be affixed on specified excisable products manufactured in Ghana or imported into the country.
But the implementation of the excise tax stamp policy started on January 1, 2018 with enforcement at the points of entry while point of sale enforcement started on March 1, 2018.
He explained that the importance of the tax stamp policy was to enable the authority monitor the exact quantities declared by manufacturers and importers for tax purposes.
He explained that the genuineness of the tax stamp was of prime importance to GRA, emphasising that the production of any fake tax stamp would defeat the purpose of the policy.
Mr Nti said to help the authority detect the genuineness of the stamp, GRA came up with a device, the Bar Code Scanner, at the beginning of the enforcement of the policy, but the gadgets were only used by the staff of the authority.
According to him, the authority developed the application to ensure that the monitoring process of the device was simplified and easily made available to the general public.
Chief Revenue Officer in charge of Excise Unit of GRA, Mr Kwabena Apau Awua Anto explained the installation process, stating that the public or the consumer needs to have an android phone with at least 5.0 capacity, visit the Play Store on the phone’s menu, search for Ghana Tax Stamp Authenticator and install the application.
He said the public would need to tap the Ghana Tax Stamp Authenticator logo on their phone for the splash screen to appear, and tap the ‘start’ to begin the scanning process.
After that, the mobile camera will turn ‘on’ the scanner mode automatically for the consumer to point the mobile camera exactly over the tax stamp affixed on the product.
He stated after scanning the tax stamp code affixed on the product, it displays the required product information on the android phone, that is whether the product has a valid or invalid stamp code.
Mr Anto said the successful scan result displays the product type, product origin HR code, organisation name, and metric name with the ‘ok’ button.
He urged consumers to compare the information on their phones with the scanned product to ensure they are the same, and appealed to the public to report any differences between the scanned results and scanned products to the GRA for action to be taken.
Source: The Finder