Leaked Document: Gov’t proposes to reverse 50% benchmark value reduction

15-05-2020

Leaked Document: Gov’t proposes to reverse 50% benchmark value reduction

The government of Ghana through the ministry of finance has proposed to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to reverse the 50% benchmark value reduction against which duties paid by importers at Ghana’s ports are calculated.

Benchmark values are reference values that Customs uses in determining values that could be imposed on imports meant for clearance at the country’s ports.

The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, last year, announced a drastic reduction in the benchmark values by 50% at a town hall meeting in Accra.

The move, he said, was to reduce the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue at the country’s ports.

Similarly, the policy would lead to a 90 percent reduction in physical examination of containers at the ports, which the government sought to achieve by June 2019, he said.

The move was welcomed by various stakeholders, especially the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), which commended the government.

Due to the corona pandemic the government is making proposals to offset the diminishing tax revenues . Officially it is not (yet) implemented and for now the benchmark prices remain unchanged  This was communicated by a press release of the GRA (https://gra.gov.gh/press-release-on-benchmark-values/

But today a lot of organisations reacted in the press such as the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Benchmark-reversal-has-shown-us-where-our-votes-will-go-Importers-exporters-to-Akufo-Addo-952810 as well as GUTA: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Reversal-of-50-benchmark-reduction-value-can-cause-smuggling-GUTA-952846

Source: Spanish Chamber of Commerce & EBO

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