The Association of Alcoholic Beverage Producers and Importers (APIBA) warns that the sealing of beer produced in Mozambique will bring an additional cost of US$5 million to producers , which they consider unreasonable, as it will increase the price to the consumer and reduce the Mozambican State’s ability to raise taxes.” However, a study carried out by an international consultant concludes that beer smuggling represents less than 1 percent of smuggled drink in Mozambique, which means around 700,000 dollars in tax evasion. which implies a loss of 700 thousand dollars must be corrected with a loss of five million dollars for companies operating in the sector?”, which asked Bruno Tembe, APIBA representative. Tembe also warned that the sealing of beer produced in the country, by bringing additional costs to the industries, will increase the price to the consumer and reduce by 53 percent the taxes that the state collects as a result of the brewers’ business .For its part, the Tax Authority, through the Coordinator of the Alcoholic Beverage and Manufactured Tobacco Sealing Unit, Miguel Nhani, downplays the study carried out by the international consultant and says that the sealing of imported drinks produced in Mozambique will advance the principles of next year (2022), as planned.”We challenge producers and importers of alcoholic beverages to take stock after one year of implementation of the measure, as a way of evaluating whether or not the sealing of the beer was worth it. I remember that when the sealing of tobacco was introduced, there were the same fears, but today the positive results are visible on the ground,” explained Miguel Nhani. Economist Estevão Boane, from the Mozambican Association of Economists (AMECOM), argues that there is time for the preparation of another study, which brings the position of the private sector and of AT, on the sealing of beer before moving forward with the measure. “We think that what APIBA as well as AT says is fundamental for the sustainability of the brewing industry in Mozambique, as well as for the control of tax collection. Thus, before the implementation of the sealing, it is possible to carry out a study with the terms of reference agreed by the parties and from there draw the conclusions for the advance”, suggested the economist. The sealing of beer has been dividing the opinions of the producers and the Government, being a measure provided for in the Tax Code on Specific Consumption Law 17/2009 and in the Regulation on the Sealing of Alcoholic Drinks and Manufactured Tobacco, approved in 2016.Source:O País

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