BY YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS
A FORMER Deputy Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in charge of Customs Division and member of Board of Directors of Ghana Export and Import (EXIM) Bank, Mr. Peter Kwame Abebrese, has called on Ghanaians living in the Diaspora to take advantage of the reduction in the benchmark values and vehicle duties to import goods into the country.
Mr Abebrese made this call after the Town Hall Meeting organized by the Economic Management Team at which the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumiah, announced 50% reduction in benchmark values and 30% in vehicle duties.
He said it was time Ghanaians who exports goods and services into the country took the opportunity to import more because “what it means now is that charges on goods at the port have been reduced”.
Explaining the benchmark values, the Deputy Commissioner said that the bench mark values are invoices generated by the government on the actual price of goods imported into the country and being enforced by custom officers.
“What we do is that sometimes, the importers under-value the prices of the goods imported in order to beat the system so the government generate these benchmark values to make the charges central to generate income for the nation.”
“With the current reduction, what it means is that it will stabilize the prices of goods and services and also add revenue to the government,” he stated.
Mr Abebrese said the New Patriotic Party government is a listening government because for some years now importers had had the cause to lament about the high port charges but successive governments failed to heed that call.
Mr Abebrese said in an interview that because of these high charges at the Ghana Port, imports in neighboring Togo Port had increased 300% while increase at Tema Port was 4%.
He said the current arrangement could stop imports routed through the Togo Port and elsewhere and thus increase the number of containers so that goods that would pass through the Tema Port.
Mr Abebrese said the new system would aid workers and agents to clear their goods fast and also aid the free flow of goods and services at the port.
He advised custom officers at the port to allow the system to run smoothly for prices of vehicles and other goods in the country to be reduced accordingly.
BY YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, BUSINESS & POLITICAL, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT