Mineral water and soft drinks traders in trouble as KRA moves to implement Excise Stamp Duty.

Businessmen Ali Hassan Apei (right) and Bashir Hassan Abbey Mamo, Directors of Microbit Systems Limited when they appeared before Milimani court Chief Magistrate Hon. Martha Mutuku to plead to charges of tax fraud amounting to Kshs. 273 million in 2019. They denied all the charges and were released on a bond of Kshs 2 million and an alternative bail of Kshs 1 million./Photo Courtesy.

By Dickson Ogutu


Bottled mineral water and soft drink traders in Kenya are staring at potential heavy losses as the Kenya Revenue authority moves to implement a phase out of unstamped products from the Kenyan market at the end of February 2020 in compliance with Excisable Goods Management System regulations 2017.

According to a KRA notice seen by The Executive Talk Magazine, manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and general public are advised that all bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages manufactured in or imported to Kenya from 13th November, 2019 must be affixed with an Excise Stamp.

This is in compliance with Section 28 of Excise Duty Act 2015 and Legal Notice 53 of 30th March, 2017 (Excisable Goods Management System Regulations) and also earlier notified through a Public Notice issued on 28th October, 2019 and further by a Public Notice dated 28th January, 2020.

According to KRA, all bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages manufactured or imported to Kenya prior to 13th November, 2019 shall be allowed in the market up to 29th February, 2020.

Any remaining stocks as at 29 February 2020 shall be affixed with excise stamps for the products to be allowed in the market. KRA is urging distributors and retailers to offer for sale goods on a First In, First out (FIFO) basis to ensure exhaustion of these stocks in the face of the impending face out.

After February 29, manufacturers and importers shall only deliver stamped products for resale or consumption, according to KRA. Distributors and retailers shall purchase excisable goods from registered manufacturers and importers

According to the taxman, any products manufactured or imported on or after 13th November, 2019 found not bearing an excise stamp or those manufactured before 13th November, 2019 and found in the market after 29th February, 2020 not bearing an excise Stamp shall be seized and offenders prosecuted.

KRA says the issuance of stamps is conditional upon traders filing all their tax returns and payment of assessed taxes.

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