As part of an extensive feasibility study, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) conducted a benchmarking visit to the high-security printing facility of APO Production Unit, Inc. (APO) at LIMA Batangas on April 9 to 17, 2023, to discuss the latter’s proposed solutions for the Electronic Tax Stamp (ETS) system management of the Government of Tanzania.
They intend to adopt a new solution for digital product authentication in the supply, installation, configuration, and operation of systems for ETS to prevent under-declaration, counterfeiting, and smuggling. Out of roughly ninety (90) proposals from digital tax stamp system suppliers who have shown interest in the tender, APO is included in the top five (5).
The TRA team who led the site visit was composed of Ms. Saada Alluy (Research Manager), Mr. Marko Nkya (Compliance Manager and Contracts Monitoring/Procurement Specialist), Mr. Oscar Simon Mbuta (Senior Research Officer), Mr. Aulelus Myamba (Senior Research Officer/Economist), Ms. Anna Kimario (Policy Specialist Business Environment), and Ms. Husna Nyange (Regional Manager of Tegeta).
They also made courtesy calls to various government agencies, such as the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), to discuss the framework for the possible government-to-government agreement about the ETS project.
On April 11, 2023, the team met with PCO Undersecretary Cherbett Karen L. Maralit, PCO Assistant Secretary for GOCC Eugene Rodriguez, BIR Assistant Commissioner of Large Taxpayers Service Jethro M. Sabariaga, and DFA-OCA Assistant Secretary Henry S. Bensurto.
The next day, April 12, 2023, they conducted an APO LIMA Security Plant tour and live demonstration of the printing process of the current Tobacco Tax Stamp, which featured the development, creation, production, and provision of exclusive and high-security printing products, services, and system solutions of APO. The company has extensive experience producing and supplying e-Passports, identification cards, and other government security documents.
Following the plant tour and tax stamp live demonstration, the TRA delegates witnessed the APO technical team showcase high-level, customized, and secure solutions that prove their vast experience in supplying highly secure tax stamps. The procedure entailed the efficient processing and affixing of tax stamps using an online tax stamp ordering and the production, payment, distribution, and tracking system that ensures the collection of correct excise taxes, thereby increasing government revenues.
As a recognized government security printer with proven expertise, APO Production Unit, Inc. is confident its proposed system will generate high revenues for the Government of Tanzania, allow local manufacturers and importers to increase profits by mitigating illicit trade, and protect the public from counterfeit goods.