This chapter concerns the production, warehousing and movement of excise goods within Namibia. The excise goods are Mineral Oils, Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages (including Beer) and Manufactured Tobacco as defined in the Customs and Excise Act, 1998 and the associated Rules.
It is essential that all officers of Customs and Excise involved in these regimes are fully conversant with ALL aspects of the law relating to excise products. In carrying out their duties, particularly in the potentially hazardous conditions applying in warehouses and production units, officers should be aware of their responsibilities for their own health and safety and must obey all such rules laid down by the businesses that they visit.
It is essential that all information, whether verbal or in written form, given by a trader be treated in the strictest confidence and not divulged to any unauthorized person. Any gift offered to an officer in the course of his/her duties must be declined and the facts reported to the supervisor. Guidance will issued to Business in the form of a Public Notice which details their obligations under the law in relation to excise goods. Officers should ensure that all responsible members of the business they visit have access to a copy of this Notice and are aware of the contents. Officers should read this Notice and be familiar with all the details contained within it. A copy of this notice is at Appendix.
Historically throughout the large majority of countries internationally and within SACU Member States the control and collection of the revenue has been laid to a government department or agency of the state. With the elimination of frontiers coupled with globalisation of business and expansion in markets governments have started to withdraw from direct revenue control of indirect taxes in particular. The sophisticated accounting systems developed by business in the latter part of the last century has often led to a duplication in control functions with traders instituting effective and accurate procedures throughout each part of their business.
Far greater reliance can now be placed on Business to police itself and revenue departments have now evolved into monitoring rather than controlling business.
Traders are now obligated under the law to provide control over excise products to the satisfaction of the appropriate fiscal authority, in the case of Namibia the Customs and Excise Department, and their activities are overseen appropriately.
Full physical control and accounting for excise goods by the officer is no longer regarded as efficient. The goods belong to the trade and it is their responsibility to account for both goods and duty. The function of the officer is now to consider where the risk arises in the business and devise methods to counter that risk. It is therefore essential that each business dealing in excisable goods, under production and duty suspension in particular, be subject to an in depth review. Their accounting systems require close scrutiny and documentation and areas of risk identified. The methods for completing this task will be detailed later.
The monitoring of these systems will be done on a visiting basis: the previous static control and detailed official records of production and stock control will diminish and audit of traders’ accounts will account for the majority of the revenue control on a compliant business. Physical checks will also be required to ensure the efficacy of the trader’s control.
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VAT is levied at the standard rate of 15% on the supply of most goods and services and on the importation of goods. It is mandatory for a person who carries on a business with an annual taxable turnover above N$500,000 to apply for VAT registration.
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