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90% of imports are not part of benchmark value – AGI

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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The Association of Ghana Industries says almost 90 per cent of imported goods at the port are not part of the benchmark value.

According to the association, most people have misunderstood the announcement made by the Vice President Dr Bawumia at a town hall meeting on Wednesday that there will be a 50% reduction on import duty and 30% for cars.

Speaking to Accra based radio station Kasapa FM, Chief Executive Officer of the Association, Seth Twum Akwaboah, explained that a reduction in the benchmark value of imported goods is not the same as a reduction in duties as perceived by the public.

” I didn’t hear the VEEP making a blanket statement that they’ve reduced import duties. People are going around saying government has reduced import duties by 50% in the sense that if you’re an importer and you go to the port today and the items you’re bringing is worth hundred Thousand Ghana cedis and your duty rate is for example 10%, it means your duty will be Ten thousand so if you’re clearing your goods today, it will be reduced by 50% and so you’ll be paying just Five thousand Ghana cedis instead of Ten thousand. It’s not true! That’s not what the Vice President said.


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“It’s rather the benchmark value that they’ve reduced by 50%. Let's ask ourselves what the benchmark value is. The benchmark value only comes into play when there is a dispute over your value. If you import things and there is no dispute over the value you’ve declared[Transactional value], you pay the applicable duty on the Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis. And I’m sure more than 90% of our imports are not part of the benchmark value, so the normal duty will be paid. And so if you go to the Port and expect that there will be a reduction of 50% on your duty it's a wrong expectation,” he added.

Reduction of import duty 

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday disclosed that Cabinet has approved for a reduction of import duty by 30% for cars and it will take effect April 4.

Addressing Ghanaians at a town hall meeting in Accra today, Dr Bawumia said import duty will be reduced by 50 per cent but 30% for cars.

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

“This means, for example, if a container was previously assessed for duty at a value of $20,000, it will now be assessed from tomorrow at a value of $10,000. We expect that the higher volumes of at least 50% annually and increase custom revenue,” the Vice President said. News