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You risk going to jail if you’re found with plastic bottle without KRA Stamp

Selling of bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages manufactured or imported after January 31 will land you in prison or you will pay hefty fines.

This is after Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) issued a notice for new excise duty being implemented on plastic, a move that will see commodities start being taxed by January 31.

Your bottle of water, juice, energy drink, soda or non-alcoholic drink will be taken away from Saturday if it does not have an excise duty stamp, with possible prosecution for being in possession.

This comes as the three-month window given to manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and the general public to comply with the new Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) regulation ends on Friday January 31.

“KRA reminds all licensed manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and general public that all bottled water, juices, energy drinks soda and other non-alcoholic beverages manufactured in or imported into Kenya from 13th November 2019 must be affixed with an Excise Stamp in compliance with Section 28 of Excise Duty Act 2015 and Legal Notice 53 of 30th March 2017 (Excisable Goods Management System Regulations) as earlier notified through a Public Notice issued on 28th October 2019,” said KRA in a notice.

All manufacturers and importers of bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages will be required to take full account of products manufactured or imported into Kenya prior to November 13, 2019.

Excise stamps are fixed to excisable goods to indicate that the required excise tax has been paid by the manufacturer before sale.

This is KRA’s second phase with the first one having been concluded in 2013, and was agreed upon after the authority held an extensive engagement with the stakeholders of the said goods.

The exercise is expected to net more revenue for KRA from excisable goods and help fight counterfeit products in the country, while at the same time deterring smuggling of goods.

The rollout of EGMS in the water sector will affect about 450 companies out of which 64 production lines are automated and the rest are manual.

The installation on the automated line will be concluded before the go-live date.

According to KRA, this will provide a level playing ground for all local manufacturers and importers of goods to ensure they all contribute equally to tax.

The requirement to affix stamps on excisable goods is outlined under the excise duty Act of 2015.

Excise duty on bottled water, juices, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages is expected to raise costs by between 50 cents and Sh2.80 per bottle.

In September last year, KRA denied reports that it had suspended taxes on bottled water, juices, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages.

The alleged suspension had been published in a local daily which claimed that a gazette notice that was reportedly set to impose excise stamps on the listed products had been suspended.

However, in a rejoinder statement, the taxman dismissed the article as “erroneous and misleading.”

“Taxes are imposed by law and become effective by way of statute. KRA has no mandate to defer implementation of the same,” said KRA then.