The Takoradi Customers Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) fall short in some 28.23% of revenue mobilized in 2018, a situation which has been attributed high level of exemptions granted to about 57 % of their total Cost Insurance Freight import in 2018.
A total of Six hundred and twenty-two million, two hundred and sixty-seven thousand, One hundred and Eighty-three Ghana Cedi (GH¢622,267,183.00) out of a revenue collection target of Eight hundred and Sixty-seven million, and Ninety thousand Ghana Cedi (GH¢867,090,000.00) was realized. This represents about 28.23 per cent shortfall for the year under review.
Sector Commander of the Customs Division in Takoradi, Francis Tanlongo mentioned that the shortfall is attributable to high levels of exemptions granted over the period.
“In 2018 about 57 per cent of our total CIF of imports through Takoradi were exempted from payment of taxes. Most of that came under the exemption are oil-well equipment and mining equipment.”
He highlighted that the differentials in Freight Charges for Cargo coming to Takoradi as against Tema port was also a contributing factor to the revenue shortfall.
The average freight charges for Tema port is $800 to $1000 per container whiles that of Takoradi is about $1800 making Tema preferable over Takoradi.
Mr Tanlongo said, “the turnaround time in Tema is higher than in Takoradi when vessels get to Takoradi loaded with cargo they don't get the equivalent of the export to take back so it is not attractive for them to come to Takoradi.
He elaborated that, when businessmen get to Tema there is available load ready for export.
“One you look at it from all the goods coming through from Burkina Faso pass through so there is ready market for the vessels to convey those goods so if you are a businessman or a woman you cannot afford to bring cargo to Takoradi and go back empty so who pays for the extra cost and that is why they have also factored in the margin so that even the get to Takoradi and their not able to get cargo that pays for extra charges.”`
He is however optimistic that despite the challenges in 2018 the Customs Division of Takoradi would be able to meet its target.