URA’s Move to Stop Illicit Trade, Smuggling & fake products through a Digital Tracking Solution

URA Moves to Stop Illicit Trade, Smuggling & fake products through Its Digital Tracking Solution
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The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in partnership with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) introduced the Digital Tracking Solution (DTS) as a medium to put an end to the illicit trade, counterfeit products, tax evasions, smuggling and to safeguard local manufacturer from unfair competition.

DTS is a track & trace platform that sends production and importation data for the specific products immediately, to both URA and UNBS.

The Digital Tracking Solution process involves the stamping of products with a digital stamp for  URA’s tax purposes and UNBS’ conformity Stamps for safety standards certification. 

According to URA, the new stamps solution is part of the Authority’s scheme to combat illicit trade, seal revenue leakages and boost collection, and increased efficiency in managing taxpayer compliance.

The solution sought is expected to enable manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers to conveniently verify and trace all specified goods throughout the distribution chain.

In the past, the two tax and quality institutions have faced strong challenges in dealing with illicit trade, counterfeit products, tax evasion, and smuggling usually arising from cross-border transaction fraud and dealings.

There has also been an inability to track goods right from the production lines and customs entry points for excise taxable imports to the final points of sale.

As a result, the solution sought will enable the government to address such challenges.

The DTS is sought to affect all the excisable goods; starting with wines, spirits, water, cigarettes, beer, and soda and those gazetted by the Commissioner.

The Authority also noted that these products will not be allowed on the market without stamps.

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What you must know about the Digital Tax Stamp

A Digital Tax Stamp is a physical paper stamp that is applied to goods or their packaging but in this case contain:

  • Security features and codes to prevent counterfeiting
  • Tamperproof features
  • Provision for online ordering and approval for delivery of stamps.
  • Track and Trace capabilities to enable; consumers to validate the stamp, traders and manufacturers track the product movement, and government to monitor compliance of the product and stamp
  • Quick response code (QR code) that will allow distributors, retailers, and consumers to use an app on their smartphones to verify the authenticity of the products.
How a Digital Tax Stamp looks like
How a Digital Tax Stamp looks like

Who are the target beneficiaries?

Traders, manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers are found to benefit from this solution in ways like;

Being able to monitor the movement of their manufactured/imported goods easily through their phone or laptop by simply installing the application.

Being able to request an instant report of their daily, weekly, monthly, or annual transactions which will significantly improve record-keeping in their businesses.

Being able to facilitate easy processing of VAT refunds and quicken return filing (auto-population of returns) and as well,

Quickening the process of customs clearing for the importers as the information would have been captured beforehand.

As consumers, you will be able to verify the genuineness of the product and stamp by simply; looking out for the physical security features on the stamp and/or sending an SMS of the reference number on the stamp to the URA and feedback shall be given with key details about the manufacture of the product. 

The Government through this scheme will ensure direct compliance action like tax education to appropriate taxpayer segments.

Fulfill her mandate of protecting Ugandans against harmful products and counterfeits and also,

Raise additional revenue to finance service delivery

 

Written by 

News Writer | Editor @Cyclone Time - Interlet Limited. Passionate Writer, Tech fervent and Web Developer. WhatsApp: +256703525418

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