KRA has an app to scan the stamps on consumer products to check if they are genuine or not.
There are tons of counterfeit products in the market from dry cells to alcoholic drinks and foods. Obviously these products evade the mandatory taxation, health and safety checks by using genuine-looking fake stamps which are visually indistinguishable from the genuine ones. The new app will work with the new stamps standard that have a Quick Response Code (QRC) that will be affixed on alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.
Speaking to the press, the Commissioner of the KRA Domestic Taxes Department, Benson Korongo said “The verification of the new excise stamps using a smartphone app will enable consumers to verify products, hence guaranteeing their safety. Through the system, we can ensure that counterfeit products that are harmful to consumers don’t flow through the distribution chain.”
The new excise stamps are part of the Electronic Goods Management System put up by the government to root out the illegal trade that eats up the tax revenue. Old generation paper stamps are however still valid until they are progressively phased out by the new system.
“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.
Revenue collected by the KRA in the last financial year from excise taxes grew by 28%. In comparison, domestic excise revenue from products under the EGMS control program grew by a whopping 43% which equates to a record-breaking Ksh 8 billion.
The ‘Stamp Checker’ Android app has been published on the Play Store. ‘The Kenya Revenue Authority is providing this free app to allow the public to check their consumer products. The check is detecting the security features of the excise tax stamps to determine if it is an authentic stamp. Immediate result of authenticity is given and on authentic stamps additionally information specific to the product scanned is retrieved from the track & trace system,’ reads the app description.