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|Tuesday, 29 May 2012 21:17|
Fuel smuggling significantly reduced through Authentix marking programme
THE global leaders in fuel authentication are helping Guyana to greatly reduce crimes that result in lost tax revenue.
This is being made possible through effective fuel marking powered by Authentix technology and the level of adulteration has dropped significantly since the programme commenced, resulting in the garnering of greater revenues. From 2006 to 2011, the percentage of identified sites found with illegal fuel has progressively decreased from 34 percent to 2 percent and efforts are, continually, being made to keep the percentage below and further lessen the illegality, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Dr. Mahindra Sharma disclosed.
He said, when the GEA began working with Authentix, the country was facing innumerable fuel-related tax losses. Non-taxed amounts were being smuggled into the country and sold illegally to retail sites, with no means of differentiating between the legally imported and the contraband.
In addition, taxed road fuels were being adulterated with low-tax kerosene and, to combat these problems, Authentix markers are blended into the legitimate commodity at secure terminals.
Samples from retailers are then tested for the expected concentration of the markers and any scale of dilution is quickly determined and proper enforcement procedures initiated by the GEA, he explained.
Sharma said the implementation of the system has enabled authorities to lower the incidence of fuel smuggling in the country and recover revenue that would have been lost through illegitimate sales and tax evasion.
He said: “Since 2006, the rate of fuel adulteration detected has dropped, substantially, each year and we will continue undeterred in our efforts to eliminate fuel smuggling,”
Sharma stated: “Guyana has seen a myriad of additional benefits, including improved and sustained sales of legitimate fuel as well as improved and sustained collection of excise tax. The marking programme is also an economic boost as it provides dozens of local jobs.”
Authentix President Lal Pearce posited that keeping the marking programme in place and enforcing the laws mean that Guyana is recovering fuel tax revenues previously lost to criminals.
He pointed out that the vigilance of the GEA combined with the effectiveness and continued use of the Authentix marking programme ensures that the rate of fuel-related crimes will continue to decrease.
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