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Following Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise’s failure to procure Gudy paper, needed to produce Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority’s (ERCA) stamp duty paper, the authority has ordered banks and insurance companies to use stamps at their nearest customs office. The shortage has seen some companies forced to buy the five birr denomination stamp paper for up to 30 birr. Currently banks, insurance firms, courts, postal services and document authentication and registration offices uses the stamp papers to collect taxes, issue leases, agreements, receipts and sand court documents.
ERCA are working to solve the problem and have posted a tender calling seven international companies from France, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands and Poland to submit tenders until February 16.
Bahiru Awol, Revenue Accounts Administration Director at ERCA told Capital that the shortage had intensified through time Berhanena Selam stock ran low.
“For several years, we have bought the stamp paper from Berhanena Selam but they recently informed us of their troubles getting Gudy paper and told us to find another option. Since then, we searched the local market but could not get a single company that can print it, which forced us to call foreign companies,” Bahiru said.
According to Bahiru the winner of the tender will bring ten million fiver denominations, 500,000 one birr denominations, and 50,000 three birr denomination stamp papers.
“We will do our best to solve the problem soon but we told to the customs bureaus to stamp the companies’ five birr denomination stamp papers as needed.”
Companies on the other hand blame ERCA for its lack of preparedness well ahead of crisis.
“We have been buying the stamp papers from the black market to service our customers properly but it is now out of control and the paper is no longer available and what ERCA say is to send our customers to its custom bureaus, which is tiring to our customers,” said an insurance company employee who requested to remain anonymous.
In 2014/15 ERCA’s revenue from the sale of 2.9 million stamp papers was 29.5 million birr.