Swiss Firm SICPA Wins Court Case Over Digital Tax

Kenya, East Africa | THE BLACK EXAMINER | SICPA, a Swiss company specializing in Digital Stamp Solutions (DTS) in Uganda and Kenya, has secured victory in a legal battle where a Kenyan senator accused it of irregularly obtaining a tender with the Kenya Regulation Authority (KRA).

SICPA, a prominent provider of DTS in Africa, involving the application of paper stamps on taxable products to enhance tax compliance and revenue, faced a court challenge alongside KRA. Kenyan Senator Okiya Omtatah from Busia had alleged that SICPA was awarded a Kenyan tender without following proper procurement procedures.

However, the Kenyan Appellate Court dismissed the case, stating that KRA had not violated any laws in awarding the contract to SICPA Securities Ltd. The court ruling asserted, “It is our belief that KRA acted in accordance with the law when awarding the contract to SICPA Securities Ltd. The High Court’s conclusion that other firms were excluded from the tender process and that there was no public involvement in awarding the contract was incorrect.”

KRA defended the SICPA digital tax system, highlighting its role in ensuring product traceability, safeguarding excise duty, and ultimately boosting government revenue.

SICPA, also contracted by the Uganda Revenue Authority in 2019, marked a significant turning point in excise tax collection in Uganda. In the 2022/23 fiscal year alone, excise tax collections surged impressively by Shs157.9 billion, reflecting a growth rate of 24.2%.

Reinforcing this positive impact, a report from the World Health Organization underscores the pivotal role of digital tax stamps in reducing revenue losses and ensuring product traceability. The report notes, “Digital tax stamps serve as a powerful tool against tax evasion. They contain critical information, from brand specifics to manufacturer data, ensuring comprehensive product traceability.

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Mimi Nina Lakhani
Mimi Nina Lakhani
I'm Nina, a Kenyan-born Tanzanian. I write about politics, business, investment, oil and gas, and climate. Reporting from Nairobi, Kenya. Daily News Tanzania (Tanzania) | Tuko (Kenya) | Eye Radio (South Sudan) | The Black Examiner (Uganda)