Ghana News

Freight forwarders kick against retrospective application of benchmark value reversal

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Some freight forwarders are protesting attempts by the government to retrospectively apply the restored benchmark value in the computation of duties at the ports.

Government’s reversal of the 50% slash on duty on some imported goods and 30% reduction on cars is expected to take effect today [January 4, 2022].

But some of the freight forwarders who managed to process their items before January 1, 2022, say they have been instructed to restart the process for the new benchmark value to be applied.

The deputy secretary of the Tema chapter of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Romeo Frimpong told Citi News that the directive is unfair, and they must be allowed to complete the process based on the old values.

“This is a system you are updating today, and it shouldn’t affect the old ones that we have already put in the system because those declarations have been worked on by Customs. If you knew that you were not going to accept it, you shouldn’t have worked on it. We have accepted it and now that we are going to pay, you are not allowing us to pay.”

Importers in the Ashanti Region are opposed to the policy reversal. They say the development will adversely affect their operations.

“The system is very hard so if they are going to remove that subsidy, then it means we are going to pay more and that portion would have to be added to the cost of the goods which is going to make it very expensive for us,” one of the importers said in a Citi News interview.

“We (importers) face a lot of problems at the ports because now the dollar is up, and the duty is also up. So we want the government to scrap that policy because there are a lot of nuisance taxes on our bills. More than 15 taxes, and if it is not looked at, many of us will be forced to stop importing,” another importer also said.

The implementation of the reversal of the 50 percent benchmark value on imports takes effect from today, Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

This was announced in a press statement issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA) on Sunday, January 2, 2022.

The reversal will affect 43 items under three categories prescribed by the GRA.

Some of the items include rice, poultry, sugar, palm oil, toilet paper, mosquito coils, machetes and vehicles.

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