Son of NDC’s Ayine confirms Bawumia’s claim of 30% cut in import levies on cars

Son of NDC’s Ayine confirms Bawumia’s claim of 30% cut in import levies on cars

The 30 per cent cut in import levies on cars announced by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the Economic Management Team Town hall Meeting April 3

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The 30 per cent cut in import levies on cars announced by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the Economic Management Team Town hall Meeting April 3, 2019, has taken off at the ports.

This was confirmed by former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine’s son on his Facebook timeline.

Ross Berizaya Ayine disclosed he cleared a Honda Civic Touring at GHC18000 April 4 but paid GHC31,000 for the clearance of same car a week ago.

“I cleared a Honda Civic Touring at Ghc31,000 just last week and clearing another under Ghc 18000 today. If all successive governments could initiate these kinds of policies, Ghana as a country would be a better place to live; politics isn’t about colours but reality,” he wrote.

He commended government for the policy which he described as “a great move and by far, it’s the best policy in governance and in the right direction”.

“I’m very impressed and pleased with the NPP and Dr. Bawumia for the reduction in import duties. This is a great move and by far, it’s the best policy in governance and in the right direction. God bless all who contributed to this success and to the brain(s) behind this splendid move. I cleared a Honda Civic Touring at Ghc31,000 just last week and clearing another under Ghc 18000 today. If all successive governments could initiate these kind of policies, Ghana as a country would be a better place to live; politics isn’t about colours but reality.

Vice President Dr. Bawumia, yesterday, announced that government has reduced the benchmark or delivery values of imports, with the exception of vehicles, by 50 per cent, while that for vehicles will be reduced by 30% effective April 4, 2019.

According to Dr. Bawumia, the measures were designed to reduce the menace of smuggling and make the country’s ports more competitive and attractive.

“To reduce the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue, the benchmark or delivery values of imports have been reduced by 50 percent except for vehicles which will be reduced by 30% effective 4th April 2019.

“Also, the physical examination of containers is to be reduced from over 90% to under 10% by June 2019. Customs and any other government operatives at the ports should adhere to the recommendations of the risk engine under the paperless regime… Where containers are selected by the risk engine for examination, there will be joint examination which must include National Security,” he disclosed.

Vice President Bawumia made the announcement at the maiden Economic Management Team (EMT) Town Hall Meeting in Accra. The Meeting, coming a day after Ghana officially exited the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility Programme, was attended by over 1000 stakeholders representing spare parts dealers, market women, trade unions, teachers, Parliamentarians and other identifiable bodies, and provided an opportunity for a frank interaction between the audience and the EMT.

According to Vice President Bawumia, the measures had been taken after an extensive study of competitor ports in the West Africa subregion in particular, and similar ports across the continent. The study, he said, had revealed a worrying disadvantage for importers who choose to come to Tema.

“The benchmark values applied by Customs to various commodities in the computation of import duties in Tema are much higher than in Lome, Abidjan and Dakar. In many cases, more than 100%-200% higher.

“Except for Nigeria ports, the total marine charges and security fees charged at Tema for container handling far exceed those of our key competitors—3 times the charges in Lome, nearly twice the charges in Abidjan.

“No port in West Africa is charging the equivalent Ghana Maritime Security fee of nearly $20,000,” Dr Bawumia continued, while “Import handling charges are higher in Tema than any port in West Africa.”

Even more worrying, Vice President Bawumia revealed that despite the introduction of paperless processes at the ports, nearly 90% of containers that come to Tema are physically examined, while only 5% are physically examined in most modern ports.

“Physical examination is a major source of corruption at the ports. Data shows that physical examination contributes less than 0.4% of additional revenue to the State. The time, unofficial facilitation fees and the energy spent in collecting this amount totally negates any gains this may have brought to government,” he bemoaned.

“For importers, the choice of ports is clear. There is an increasing diversion of trade away from Tema port and smuggling of many items into Ghana is very tempting. Container import volumes into Lome port between 2013 and 2018 increased by over 300% (or 60% annually) while Ghana container import volumes into Tema increased only by 4.1% annually over the same period,” the Vice President disclosed.

By: Kekeli Kuatsenu/awakenewsonline.com