SARS issues tender to prevent illicit cigarette trade

The SA Revenue Service is seeking a service provider to help it keep tabs on the illicit tobacco trade by tracking cigarettes from manufacturing plants to points of sale. 

The tax agency said this "track-and-trace marker technology" would help it monitor the illicit tobacco trade, which is causing "significant losses" to the national fiscus. 

"This non-intrusive technological innovation is expected to boost the monitoring and control of duties and taxes in this industry significantly," SARS said in a statement on Tuesday. 

A tender document has been published on the SARS website for "production management" for 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."

The deadline is June 20. 

Illicit cigarette manufacturing 

The tax agency has been working to beef up its fight against the illicit cigarette trade since Mark Kingon took over as acting commissioner from Tom Moyane, who was suspended and later fired in 2018. Under Kingon, the agency revised a unit probing the illicit economy. The unit was one of several shut down under the now-infamous business restructure model ordered by Moyane. 

Earlier this year the tax agency obtained a Warrant of Execution in the North Gauteng High Court against controversial businessman Adriano Mazzotti, of tobacco company Carnilinx. 

The Competition Commission, meanwhile, is probing the removal of certain brands of cigarettes form the shelves of Spar. According to the Sunday Times, a senior Spar manager wrote in two internal emails that shops should not stock certain brands that have been linked by a study to tax avoidance. 

ZAR/USD
17.63
(-0.14)
ZAR/GBP
23.01
(-0.05)
ZAR/EUR
20.78
(-0.04)
ZAR/AUD
12.61
(+0.08)
ZAR/JPY
0.17
(-0.02)
Gold
2034.21
(+0.05)
Silver
28.28
(+0.09)
Platinum
961.50
(+0.38)
Brent Crude
44.55
(-1.53)
Palladium
2166.01
(+0.63)
All Share
56757.73
(-1.56)
Top 40
52435.65
(-1.72)
Financial 15
9897.96
(+0.10)
Industrial 25
74671.49
(-1.98)
Resource 10
58948.78
(-1.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 929 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6238 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1283 votes
Vote