Mobile phone dealers call for review of import duty

The Association of Independent Mobile Phone and Credit Dealers (ASIMODE) has called on the government to review the 20 per cent import duty on mobile handsets imported into the country.

A statement made available to Ghana News Agency (GNA) last Wednesday, said the tax which was regressive might signal a challenging investment environment likely to worsen the plight of mobile phone importers and dealers.

“Many of our members who are engaging in the importation of these products are already struggling with startup costs and unexpected liabilities, and the government must, therefore, come out with a tax credit to help offset these challenges to enable us to remain in business”.

“As stakeholders, we were not consulted on anything nor did we have the least opportunity to participate in any discussion or make necessary inputs in the said Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill for such a policy review which has a direct repercussion on our businesses#”, the statement said.

According to the statement, the expenses to be associated with purchasing a handset could represent a high barrier to entry into the mobile market for many poorer Ghanaians, if the taxation was allowed.

It, however, said the mobile retail space was struggling since the market had largely reached saturation point with the vast majority of consumers already owning mobile handsets, and that the pressure was on dealers to continually push them to upgrade and renew.

The statement added that, the prospects for independent importers and retailers were fairly bleak and as such, the government must consider scrapping the tax imposition, since it had the potential of bringing about economic displacement”.

Source: GNA/Ghana


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