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SARS issues ‘track-and-trace’ tender to tackle illegal cigarette trade

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SARS has announced that it is seeking a service provider to assist with keeping tabs on the illegal tobacco trade; tender applications are to be submitted by Monday, 20 June 2019.

On Tuesday, 30 April 2019, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced that it had embarked on several strategic initiatives to curb the illegal tobacco trade. The revenue service added that it is seeking a service provider to help it keep tabs on the trade by tracking cigarettes from manufacturing plants to points of sale.

In a statement, SARS said the illegal trade included an underground economy which operated outside of the rules and regulations of the country, organised crime and the illegal trade of products.

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“South Africa experiences significant losses in excise revenue due to a global increase in the manufacturing, supply, and sale of illicit excisable products. In response to this challenge, SARS has embarked on a process to mitigate such illicit and non-compliant activities by means of improved policy, enhanced processes, and the use of advanced technology to uniquely mark products, in order to strengthen the enforcement environment and ensure overall control of the supply chain.”

SARS said it would introduce “track-and-trace marker technology” that would monitor the tobacco trade. “This non-intrusive technological innovation is expected to boost the monitoring and control of duties and taxes in this industry significantly.”

A tender document has been published on the SARS website for the production management of the track-and-trace solution. According to the request for proposal, cigarette manufacturers must “implement the solution on the production lines [at] production facilities, locally and abroad, for those cigarette products that it produces, imports, markets and sells in the South African economy.”

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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