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Government Mandates Digital Excise Tax Stamps for Soft Drinks, Beer, and More

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Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs

By Buba Gagigo 

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, in conjunction with the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), has declared the implementation of mandatory digital Excise Tax Stamps for various products, including Bottled Water, Soft Drinks, Beer, Wine & Spirits, Flour, and Tobacco (Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco leaves, and cigarillo) effective from January 15, 2024.

In a statement addressed to all manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers of excisable goods, and the public, GRA highlighted that the collection of Excise Duty has consistently fallen below expectations due to illicit trade, under-declaration, and monitoring inefficiencies concerning these items.

“This has resulted in a loss of revenue for the government and unfair competition for legitimate, law-abiding manufacturers and importers. Digital Tax Stamps take the form of either paper stamps or digital codes that are affixed or directly printed onto the excisable products or the packaging of such products. The stamps contain visible and covert security features, which serve to prevent counterfeiting of the stamps and enable the stamps to be authenticated and traced to their origins,” they said.

The Revenue Authority emphasized that the introduction of digital Excise Tax Stamps will empower consumers, retailers, and distributors to verify the legitimacy of stamps attached to excisable products.

“All persons handling excisable goods for which marking is mandatory must verify the presence & authenticity of the secured marking before receiving, storing, and offering the products for sale,” they said.

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