The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) says the 2% Special Import Levy (SIL) be removed as part of government’s tax initiatives in the 2020 budget.

According to the Ghana Employment Association, the removal of the SIL is “to improve the business environment in the ensuing fiscal year.”

In the 2018 fiscal year, the 1% levy, which applied to machinery and equipment listed under the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) protocol was abolished. Whilst this policy initiative was welcoming news for importers of spare parts, the 2% levy applicable to all other goods except petroleum products is still in place to further increase the tax burden on businesses.

Employers understand that the Special Import Levy Act, 2013 (Act 861) (“SILA”), which was introduced in 2013 to impose a 1% to 2% levy on the importation of specified goods, was meant to raise funds to stabilize the economy up to 2015.

“Employers hoped that the Special Import Levy (SIL) would end in 2015 as specified by the Act. However, its continuous extension up to date is adding up to the cost of doing business in the country,” GEA said in a statement.

The Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 amended the Special Import Levy, Act, 2013 (Act 861) to remove the levy payable on specific imported goods.