By: Saidu Jalloh

The National Revenue Authority (NRA) announced the successful activation of the Product Tracing System (PTS) at manufacturing companies in Freetown on Thursday, February 1, 2024. This marks a significant milestone in revenue protection efforts. Initially targeting importers, distributors, and retailers dealing with tobacco, wine, spirituous, and other alcoholic beverages, the PTS aims to ensure transparency, combat illicit trade, and boost revenue.

Commissioner General Jeneba J. Bangura expressed pride in achieving this milestone, highlighting the system’s role in enhancing transparency, combating illicit trade, and contributing to revenue growth. This initiative aligns with the broader goals of infrastructure, technology, and innovation outlined in the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2024-2030, known as the Big Five Game Changers.

The PTS, a state-of-the-art track and trace solution, monitors products from production or importation to distribution, emphasizing a commitment to transparency and accountability. Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, Senior Commissioner of the Domestic Tax Department at NRA, emphasized the system’s capability to trace goods effectively, preventing smuggling, tax evasion, and identifying potential loopholes.

In addition to revenue protection, the system enhances efforts to combat contraband entering the country. Leveraging advanced technologies like barcode scanning, GPS tracking, and data analytics, the PTS provides the NRA with real-time, accurate information on the movement of goods. This meticulous documentation aims to bolster domestic revenue mobilization.

Khalil Farhat Hidjazi, Managing Director of a beverage company integrating with the system, urged companies and consumers to support the reform and cautioned that non-compliance would designate products without proper markings as potentially smuggled.

As the PTS goes live, it is anticipated to set a precedent for other beverage producers and importers to adhere to the Excise Stamps and Other Markings Regulations of 2022. The implementation stands as a testament to the NRA’s commitment to modernizing trade practices and ensuring a secure and accountable marketplace.




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