Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has described as an illegal, government’s recent reduction in benchmark value of import duties.
Addressing an economic forum organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Thursday, he said Sections 66, 67 and 68 of the Customs Act 2015, Act 891, permits the use benchmark valuation only in exceptional cases.
According to him, any country that implements such a policy as the basis for custom goods risks being sanctioned by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
“It is illegal, the WTO frowns on it and again the WCO does not accept it,” the former Deputy Finance Minister told his audience including NDC leadership as well as former President John Mahama.
His comments are in reaction to Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announcing a reduction in the benchmark value of import duties at all of the country’s ports effective Thursday.
Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting by the government’s Economic Management Team in Accra, he said that benchmark value of import duties had been slashed by 50 per cent while importers of vehicles will enjoy a 30 per cent reduction.
“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 customs revenue,” the Vice President, who is Head of the EMT, explained.
However, the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP is questioning the reasoning behind the implementation of the policy by the Akufo-Addo government.
The real impact of the policy, per his calculation, is 5% of the import value which he said will not be that significant to the importer.
“This benchmark valuation will not affect import valuation by 50% of 30%...the impact per my calculation, will not exceed 5%,” he imagined.
Even that 5% relief will be eroded should the local currency continue to slump in value compared to other major trading currencies.
Have your say
More News Headlines
- World beard and mustache competition begins in Belgium
- UG begins Bachelor of Education programme
- Four Africa city destinations you should visit right now
- Multimedia Group's Kwetey Nartey selected as 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow
- Church bans 'backpacks' over recent terror threat
- Imported arms controversy: ‘Weapons pose security threat’ – Abotsi
- Climate change lessons included in new basic school curriculum
- We have employed 350,000 public sector workers - Veep
- 2 siblings washed away while playing in the rain
- Man charged with reckless driving wants to go to jail than home to wife
- Google launches one-stop shop for flights, hotels
- Baako wants CID boss changed
- 2 Suspected robbers killed in shoot-out with police at Kasoa
- NIA shuts down online portal for Ghana Card registration
- 5 years on; Rawlings, other NDC stalwarts remember PV Obeng