Tanzania Winning Counterfeit War with Technology

John Magufuli

Tanzania rolled out the electronic tax stamp (ETS) in six key regions, putting an end to physical stamps, whose use has been linked to incidents of tax evasion and counterfeiting as part of the government’s plans to raise money for infrastructure development to transform into an industrial economy.

The Revenue Authority kick-started the use of the ETS application in September for beer, soda and cigarette makers with the installation of e-tax machines. In the latest report by deputy minister for Industry and Trade, the number of counterfeits in the market is increasingly falling as soon as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) rolled out its Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS). Ms. Stella Manyanya noted that the number of fake products in the market was steadily going down.

ETS has enabled the government to use modern technology to obtain production data timely from manufacturers. The new technology, she said, has helped the government to curb revenue leakages and also helps it to determine in advance the amount of taxes to be paid as Excise Duty, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Taxes.

“During the period, we have seen the challenge of counterfeits in the market going down. We must win this fight and the ETS offers us an opportunity to achieve the goal,” she said, urging for concerted efforts among stakeholders to defeat the vice.

She added that like other countries across the world, Tanzania has its means of protecting its quality and domestically manufactured products against unfair competition to grow the economy.