The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has rejected suggestions from policy think-tank IMANI that port operations have reverted to pre-2002 era.
GRA, in its response dismissed claims made by the think-tank, which it indicated sought to undermine the significance of its newly introduced Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).
IMANI, for instance, stated that “ICUMS/UNIPASS system has no pricing data against which they could determine current prices and respective taxes that must be paid to the state.”
One of the effects of this, IMANI claimed is that “a vehicle that cost GH¢12,000 to clear on the GCNET/West Blue platform now clears for GH¢6,000 on a very manual UNIPASS.”
A 2016 model Chevrolet could be processed for as low as GH¢14, IMANI said in a statement.
But responding to these allegations, GRA said it has no evidence on a transaction where “a vehicle that was purportedly valued at GH¢12,000 in GCMS/GCNET, but was valued at GH¢6,000 in ICUMS.”
“In reference to the vehicle that was valued at GH¢14 it is a case of fraudulent activity by an agent,” GRA said.
“The agent falsely declared USD1.00 as the value for the vehicle, and claimed that he had paid the duty in GCNET and therefore used the CPC 40D23 to process the transaction.
“The GH¢14 was the summation of the Ghana Shippers Authority fee of GH¢9 and Ministry of Trade and Industry. Import Declaration Form (IDF) fee of GH¢5.”
GRA said its “system detected the fraudulent transaction at the compliance stage and raised a query that very day.”
“Till date the agent has not responded to the query. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) Import Declaration Form (IDF) is not generated for the declaration of used vehicles,” they said.
Measures have been taken to block the said agent, GRA said.
“Also, it is inaccurate to say that ICUMS is ‘poorly’ assessing goods. As stated before, the examples of the GH¢14 duty for vehicle and the GH¢6000 undervaluation of another vehicle are not substantiated.
“Therefore, no declarant has been begged to pay manually for any difference in duties and taxes. As part of routine customs processes, there are instances where officers observe underdeclaration or under-valuation. In such instances, the officer generates a Customs Offence Report (COR) which requires the agent pays the difference in duty to the state,” GRA said.