Abossey Okine spare part dealers feel deceived by gov't

By Kwabena Owusu-Ampratwum

Vehicle spare parts traders at Abossey Okine in Accra say they feel deceived by the government because the cost of clearing goods from the ports has shot up drastically following the introduction of the paperless clearing system.

They say the system has now negated gains made from a downward trend in the cost of getting goods out of the port when government removed import duties on vehicle spare parts.

Some businessmen who spoke to PrimeNewsGhana said officials of the Ghana Ports and Harbors authority after the introduction of the paperless system now overvalue their items, resulting in the payment of higher taxes on them.

"The other time, they valued some Toyota Corolla engines and pistons about 30% over the prices I purchased them, at the end of the day, I had to sell them at higher prices and even that I made some losses" a spare parts trader, John Kumah lamented.

According to him, GHAPOHA persistently denies increasing the value of the spare parts whenever the issue comes up for discussion.

President Akufo-Addo during the 2016 electioneering campaign promised traders at Abossey Okine he will scrap import duties on vehicle spare parts. Government followed through with the promise after assuming office. The move was hailed by the traders while government touted it as a demonstration of its determination to create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish.

The spare parts dealers however say the gains made after the removal of the import duties were shortlived. One other dealer who spoke to an Accra based radio station said the port authorities are now using benchmark value, which is contrary to the rules of the World Trade Organisation"

"The time they introduced that program [scrapping on import duties on spare parts] we all enjoyed it because if you paid at least 20,000 for a 20 footer container, it reduced to 15,000 or 14,000, but after the paperless program, the duty has gone up drastically, more than what we paid previously" he said.

The spare parts dealer continued that government does not seem to understand when they complain about the situation.

He appealed to the President to take immediate steps to address their concerns since many of them are being taxed out of business.