Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has announced decision by government to reduce import duties at Ghana’s ports by 50% effective Thursday, 4th April, 2019.
He made this known at a Townhall Meeting on Wednesday saying import charges for cars will also be reduced by 30%.
“To reduce the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue, the benchmark delivery values of import will be reduced by 50%. However for vehicles, the reduction will be 30 percent,” he said.
According to him, the decision by government follows calls from groups like Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) to review the high taxes and duties on imported items.
The Vice President further expresses worry over what he termed exorbitant port charges at the meeting, saying “Many port charges are a percentage of the value of the goods and this makes them exorbitant and highly justifiable. Why should the cost of scanning a container, a vehicle examination fee, a network charge be a percentage of the value of goods in the container?”
“We have a very archaic practice when importers are unable to pay their duties, their cars and commodities are confiscated and auctioned off very cheaply. Often much less than the duty owed. For importers, the choice is clear that there is an increasing diversion of trade away from Tema Port and the smuggling of many items into Ghana is very tempting,” the Vice President said.