The Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, has issued a stern warning to the business community, especially companies that sell liquor containing more than 40 percent alcohol.
He has given them a deadline of 30 June 2018 to comply with the law. “Customs Officers will be conducting site visits and seizing liquor with 40 percent on shelves of stores, bars, restaurants and hotels,” he said.
“We have given the business community ample time to adjust to the law and the ending of this month we will act accordingly.”
This year, the Government took the extra step to try and curb alcohol-related incidents by increasing excise tax on liquor to 100 percent. The increase applies only to all locally manufactured liquor.
“The is to counter the concerns raised by the Ministry of Police that the incidents they respond to in the villages’ day in and day out are a result of people consuming locally made liquor," he said.
“Currently its $19.65 tax per liter, however with the proposed tax, it will increase the price to $38.60 for every bottle that has 40 percent alcohol volume.
“And also this Bill limits liquor to a 40 percent alcohol volume.
“Also there will be no more liquor bottles underneath 500 milliliters,” explained Tialavea.
“Again the main reason behind the move to increase the taxes is to somehow eliminate the growing number of incidents.
“Most of the inmates incarcerated in jail, locally made liquor are the root of the problems.”
The Minister made it clear beer is not affected by the new excise taxes.
Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill (No.2) 2018 Samoa Explanatory Memorandum 1.0 object and reasons: 1.1.
The Bill seeks to make amendments to the schedule of the Excise Tax Rates Act 1984 by replacing rates for tariffs for certain items with new tariff rates. 1.2.
The object of the Bill: (a) is to increase the excise tax rates for locally produced spirits to 100 percent from the current excise tax rate charged following the government’s revenue review completed in 2016; and (b) to limit the content for all alcohol to 40 percent.
Clauses: Clause 1: - provides for the short title and commencement. Clause 2: - provides for the amendments in the Schedule. 2 Schedule: - provides for increased excise tax rates for local produces spirits to 100 percent and to limit the content for all alcohol to 40 percent.