TRA explains ETS delay on soft drinks, bottled water

Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is training manufacturers of soft and carbonated drinks, as well as bottled water, on what the Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS) system entails while simultaneously rolling out the system.

With an increasing number of firms involved in manufacturing the drinks, TRA believes that the firms require training on the pros and cons of electronic stamps.

“We are at an advanced stage of training manufacturers of the products. In fact, we have begun installing ETS machines in those factories,” the TRA deputy commissioner general, Mr Msafiri Mbibo, told journalists at the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) at the Mwalimu Nyerere Saba Saba Show Grounds yesterday.

The first phase of the ETS rollout was launched on January 15, 2019 whereby the stamps were installed in 19 companies that produce alcohol, wine and spirits.

The second phase, which involved soft and carbonated drinks as well as bottled water, was rolled out on August 1 last year.

However, with no public notice issued for ETS rollout on bottled water and juice, old paper stamps were largely being used on such products.

But Mr Mbibo said at the weekend that Tanzania has registered a number of achievements with ETS rollout, insisting that bottled water and juice will soon have the electronic stamps stamped on them.

He said exercise duty on beer, cigarettes and wine has gone up by an average of 30 percent since the installation of electronic stamps.

He said delay in rolling out of ETS on some products was caused the government’s need to satisfy itself with the achievements so far.

Electronic stamps allow the taxman to receive real time production data from manufacturers and thus prevent under-declaration of production volumes.

It also helps in combating the trade of counterfeits as well as in tracking and tracing of products.

This enables other manufacturers to know who has produced what, when and where the products have gone.