by michael eli dokosi/www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
Spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai have welcomed government’s 50 percent benchmark reduction of import duties on goods and 30 percent reduction on vehicles.
While some are hopeful the reduction will lead to reduced cost of vehicle parts they sell to clients, others have adopted the cautious approach waiting for the new price regime to be activated before they jubilate with claims some of government’s announced cuts in the past didn’t reflect in their businesses.
Government on Wednesday, April 3 held a town hall meeting where it’s Economic Management Team (EMT) were in session to address concerns of citizens on the economy. Speakers in session aside Dr. Bawumia included Ken Ofori-Atta, John Peter Amewu, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei and Yaw Osafo-Marfo.
At that event, Vice President and head of the EMT, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia declared effective today there will be a reduction in benchmark value of import duties at all of the country’s ports.
In an effort to streamline activities at the Tema port, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta submitted the introduction of the new paperless port system has reduced costs adding “the results showed that the cost components of doing business at the country’s ports have reduced from seven to three cost components. This has, subsequently, reduced the total costs from Ghc1,280 to GHc320 showing importers are now making savings of 75 percent as a result of the implementation of the paperless system.”
Dr. Bawumia further noted: “This means, for example, if a container was previously assessed for duty at a value of US$20,000, it will now be assessed from tomorrow at a value of US$10,000. We expect that the higher volumes of at least 50 percent annually and increase custom revenue.”
He continued, the physical examination of containers is to be reduced from over 90 percent to fewer than 10 percent by June 2019, and Customs and any other government operatives at the ports should adhere to the recommendations of the risk engine under the paperless regime.
The First Port Rule is set to be operational in June 2019 so that duty on all transit items will be paid at our port to the Customs representatives of the country of destination.
“We will implement a strict “no duty no exit” policy for containers without exception. This will block leakages and increase revenue. Going forward, Ghana will adopt a flat fee structure for port and customs charges for any new single window operator in line with best practices of charges at major ports globally,” Dr. Bawumia also explained.