The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), on March 25, arrested the proprietor of Tabito Packaging &Suppliers after seizing more than 25,000 pieces of counterfeit excise stamps and 5,000 bottles of sky-falls mineral water at his water refilling plant in Industrial Area, Nairobi.
The drinking water bottles had all been pasted with fake excise stamps under the false pretence that the excise duty had been paid.
After closing down the processing plant, the authority has now commenced investigations, working hand in hand with the owner to find out the source of the fake excise stamps.
In a press release on Friday, March 26, KRA stated that “Possession or use of counterfeit excise stamps is illegal under the Excise Duty Act, 2015 and the Excise Duty (Excisable Goods Management System) Regulations, 2017.
The taxman also reminded all licensed manufacturers, distributors, importers, retailers and the general public that all excisable goods except motor vehicles require legally acquired excise stamps as per the law.
The government agency said that to set the record straight, any water that is not packaged, that is, tap water or water coming directly from a natural source, doesn’t attract any tax.
However, KRA added, once water is purified and bottled for sale, it becomes excisable.
Excise stamps for water bottle cost Sh0.50 per stamp. As for the excise licence, one can start the application process through iTax under the registration tab.
“KRA is the only body mandated with the issuance of excise stamps,” confirmed the government agency.
KRA has been conducting a crackdown operation for the last ten days to ramp out illegal goods from the market in an effort to protect the public from harmful goods, create fair market competition and save revenue.
It also liaised with the Nairobi County Government, targeting businesses in Nairobi over the renewal of permits and licences.