The government of Ghana through the ministry of finance has instructed 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.
But a letter to the ministry of finance by GRA intercepted by happyghana.com reads. “As per discussion held previously, I have directed that the attached list be excluded from enjoying the 50% and 30% discount on goods and vehicles respectively under the “Benchmark Policy.”
The leaked letter signed by the AG. Commissioner-General Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah added that “The head of the Customs Technical Service Bureau (CTSB) and all sector commanders have been tasked to ensure compliance with effect from 15th May 2020.”
Below is the letter and the full list of commodities to be excluded from the benchmark value reduction.