Ever since SICPA SA came to Nigeria, the company has been consistent! Being in business can be overwhelming at the best of times such that it becomes a benumbing challenge getting the aesthetic distance for a firm to literally engage in proper intercourse with its services and clients.
SICPA is not new in Nigeria. In 1987, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Security Printing & Minting (NSPM). This was followed by a Shareholders’ Agreement signed between NSPM and SICPA Holding in 1990 which led to the creation of a joint venture, culminating in Tawada Limited, with NSPM holding 60 percent of the equity and SICPA 40 percent. Tawada which started its operations in 1997 is located in Abuja.
Tawada manufactures all the security inks used to print the Naira currency. Specific raw materials are now sourced locally, following SICPA’s validation, and a technology transfer program is being implemented aiming at increasing the local content of the security inks manufactured.
Among companies that came into the country then, SICPA had already won pips of high recognition within the comity of companies even with a somewhat title of regularity cum consistency to its name. The company appears cast in the mode of the deposition of the very best that exudes full conviction of passionate intensity.
In looking at what SICPA has been doing in Nigeria, one is bound to hold to the company’s depiction of the market leader in security inks and leading provider of secured authentication, identification, traceability, and supply chain solutions. SICPA is a long-trusted partner to governments, central banks, high-security printers, and the industry in different countries of the world. Every day, governments, companies, and millions of citizens rely on its expertise, which combines material-based covert features and digital technologies, to protect the integrity and value of their currency, personal identity, value documents, e-government services, as well as products and brands.
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True to its purpose of enabling trust through constant innovation, SICPA has been aiming to further an economy of trust worldwide, where transactions, interactions, and products across the physical and digital worlds are based on protected, unforgeable, and verifiable data.
Founded in Lausanne in 1927, headquartered in Switzerland, and operating on five continents, SICPA employs about 3000 people.
With more than 70 active customers worldwide and more than 3 billion products marked and protected with brand protection solutions, SICPA has proven experience in the effectiveness of its solutions.
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So far, there is an avalanche of references and testimonials highlighting the positive impact observed by fiscal administrations and customs authorities in different countries further to the implementation of SICPA’s revenue mobilization solutions for products subject to excise tax, value-added tax (VAT), and other duties. Also, there are submissions by international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN), international publications, local economic press, and directly by government authorities of different countries to affirm the competence of the company.
In addition to country-specific testimonials, various major international institutions have endorsed SICPA’s Track & Trace solutions. For example, a 2021 report from The World Bank includes multiple cases-studies from various countries that have implemented SICPA’s solutions, including Kenya, Ecuador, and Georgia
The federal government took the decision not only because SICPA SA possesses the requisite skills, capabilities, and experience but also because it possesses the financial resources to effectively deploy the required solution to ensure the realization of the outcomes outlined at the inception of the initiative.
The company has a proven track record and expertise that is demonstrated through the successful execution and completion of similar projects with 40 governmental authorities worldwide, including African countries such as Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Togo.
International and global institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the World Customs Organisation acknowledge SICPA’s Track and Trace Solutions as instrumental to strengthen domestic revenue mobilization and fighting illicit trade.
Kenya says: “In Kenya, a Swiss company, SICPA, won the tender. Implementing the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) turned out to be cheaper than the cost of the previous system. The implementation of the EGMS has led to an increase in tobacco tax revenue. Overall, 2014 tax compliance expanded by 45 percent, while costs went down… In the fiscal year 2016/17, excise tax revenue on beer and tobacco grew by 13.3 percent, while excise tax revenue on spirits grew by 22.7 percent. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) attributes this growth to enhanced compliance. The IMF has also praised Kenya for the implementation of the EGMS.”
In Africa, Kenya, for example, has won praise for its EGMS- initially focused on alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, the cutting-edge tax stamps were subsequently extended to bottled water and other drinks – which has helped dramatically increase excise collection …Since introducing the EGMS scheme, KRA has shut down hundreds of illegal producers, resulting in more than 800 prosecutions.
“The first phase of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, in 2013, was very successful. We registered significant protection of revenue and increased our tax yield and it became necessary that we implement the remaining products-bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda, and other non-alcoholic drinks, which came on board on November 13, 2019. So far, that implementation has borne positive outcomes and for the first three months of implementation, revenue grew by an average of 11 percent…
The above indicates that the Kenyan authority has a running contract with SICPA SA for the implementation of SICPATRACE system (EGMS), with the company delivering on its contractual obligations. The company has done that by providing a system that meets the objectives and requirements set out by the Kenya revenue authority.
Tanzania has also ramped up its oversight of alcohol after implementing its Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS) system in January 2019. The scheme has played an essential role in curbing the proliferation of counterfeit products on the Tanzanian market and has brought in significant tax revenue. Just three months after the scheme was put in place, Tanzanian tax officials estimated that the ETS system was helping them recoup some $1.7 million a month…Over the course of the past financial year, the scheme pushed tax revenues up by an impressive 34 percent, prompting Dar es Salaam to roll out the system for bottled water and soft drinks as well.
According to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), “over the last year, URA enforcement operations around the implementation of the Digital Tracking Solution (DTS) have raked in a total of over UGX 3 billion of revenue as a result of netting 21 DTS flouters who were caught manufacturing, selling, exporting or distributing gazetted goods without the tax stamps,” revealed by Ian Rumanyika (Public & Corporate Affairs Manager at URA). The digital tax stamp is a mark affixed on gazetted products to uniquely track and trace them on the market…
In Morocco: “Aware of the need to adopt less intrusive and more efficient control methods, and in order to optimize its means of action (human and material) while improving its results, the Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes (ADII) had been engaged for several years in a process of reforming the control of production and importation of certain goods subject to internal consumption taxes (TIC), in particular, manufactured tobacco, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. This performance concern was materialized in 2010 by the adoption of an integrated and secure tax marking system supplied and set up by an operator selected following an international call for tenders, which made it possible to reduce the staff allocated to control, in terms of TIC, while improving the fiscal yield of these taxes, as well as the fight against fraud and smuggling… It is in this context that, on October 22, 2019, the Customs Administration and the selected service provider SICPA SA signed a new agreement which provides for investments and innovative features.”
As stated by Turkey Revenue Authority: “TURKTRACE® (nb. former name of the BÜIS system) annually covers about 5.7 billion tobacco banderols, 1.6 billion beer codes, and 200 million alcohol banderols.66 Since TURKTRACE® has become operational in July 2007, the revenue from the Turkish Special Consumption Tax increased by USD 1.8 billion on tobacco products and by USD 200 million on alcoholic beverages. The estimated government budget on excise revenues from tobacco and alcoholic products increased by 85 percent in 2007 and by 94 percent in 2010.”
“In Georgia, seven companies submitted proposals for the Integrated System of Movement and Registration of Products, and in the end, the contract was awarded to SICPA, a company based in Switzerland. The Georgia Revenue Service is currently satisfied with its performance. Georgia has managed to substantially decrease tax avoidance through various administrative measures.”
According to Ecuador Authority: “Since March 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (SRI) has applied the Identification, Marking, Authentication, Tracking and Tax Tracking System (SIMAR) for domestic cigarettes, beers, and alcoholic beverages, “in order to reduce the accessibility and affordability of tobacco products, as well as to protect public revenues”. The World Health Organisation admitted that the SIMAR “has become an example for other countries in the region”. The main objective of SIMAR is to maintain greater control of excise payments and combat tax evasion. It also seeks to detect products of dubious origin.
According to the Albania authority: “In December 2010, the Albanian Council of Ministers decided to introduce a national track and trace system for all tobacco and alcohol products (including beer) as well as medicines, both manufactured in Albania and imported from abroad. Full deployment of the adopted system, based on the SICPATRACE® platform, was completed in October 2011. After the introduction of the track and trace system, over USD 2 million of additional revenues in fines and recovered excise taxes were collected. Furthermore, from March 2012 to December 2012, the local beer production increased by 50 percent compared with the same period in 2011.”
The same thing, modernizing tax and customs administration to improve revenue collection, applies in other countries and states, among which are California, Niger, and the Philippines.