Most destroyed goods were not Namibian owned -NamRA

The Namibia Revenue Authority (NamRa) says the bulk of the N$5 million worth of confiscated goods that it recently destroyed did not belong to Namibian nationals.

This comes amid a public backlash over the revenue agency's decision to destroy confiscated goods, with accusations flying that the body had deliberately targeted goods owned by Namibian nationals.

“It is not true that the goods were performantly confiscated from Namibians. While we will not divulge the nationality of those whom the goods were seized, we can affirm that the majority of the goods were not confiscated from Namibians,” NamRA’s Chief: Strategic Communications and Support Engagements, Steven Yarukeekuro Ndorokaze said.

He said the destroyed goods, the bulk of which had been confiscated upon entry at Hosea Kutako International Airport and the Post of Walvis Bay, had been confiscated for copyright infringements and in the interest of protecting society.

“The operation carried out was also consistent with international instruments such as the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), in relation to enforcement,” Ndorokaze said.

“Overall, counterfeit goods compromise the profit potential for the brand right holders, facilitate revenue leakage and such goods could be harmful to the society, as they would have not been subjected to the established standards.”

On allegations that some foreign-owned shops are not paying tax and not compliant with the country's tax regulations, he said “NamRA has indicated its commitment to enhance overall compliance with tax, customs and excise laws, linked to increased taxpayer/trader education.”

Quizzed on what NamRa had done to educate the public regarding the importation of counterfeit goods into the country, Ndorokaze said, "education and awareness initiatives have always been carried out by the former Directorate of Customs and Excise and NamRA intends to take that to the next level.”

In April, NamRA revealed that it had collected close to N$1 million in administrative penalties in two weeks from undervalued and undeclared goods being imported into the country, coupled with incidents of false declarations.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that the cost of cloning or counterfeit goods globally is N$8 trillion a year – the largest percentage of that by value is electronics.

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Last modified on Sunday, 15 May 2022 22:28

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