KRA Introduces App to Combat Proliferation of Illicit Products

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced a smartphone app to enable manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers to authenticate the legitimacy of excisable products.

The app will be used to verify the new generation excise stamps introduced by the agency for all tobacco; wines; spirits; ready to drink (RTDs) alcoholic drinks; and beers.

The old generation paper stamps on these products will however remain valid until all products on which they are affixed are consumed.

The new stamps which bear a verifiable and traceable Quick Response Code (QR Code) are part of the roll out of the Electronic Goods Management System (EGMS) aimed at combating illicit trade and sealing revenue leakage loopholes.

The Commissioner Domestic Taxes Department, KRA Benson Korongo said, “The verification of the new Excise Stamps using a Smartphone app will further enable consumers to verify that the products are genuine hence guaranteeing their safety. Through the system, we can ensure that counterfeit products that are harmful for consumers don’t flow through the distribution chain.”

“Following the strong revenue performance of the products managed under EGMS, the Authority is in advanced consultations with relevant stakeholders for the roll out of the system on the remaining excisable goods,” Korongo added.

According to the taxman, excise revenue grew by 28 per cent in the 2014/2015 year with domestic excise revenue from products controlled under EGMS increasing 43 per cent and contributing an additional collection of $80 million- the highest recorded annual growth in history.

Between 2010 and 2016, products under the stamping and EGMS regime consistently recorded an annual growth of more than 10 per cent, stronger growth in comparison to non-stamped products which recorded growth of less than 10 per cent.

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