Cement Manufacturers Dare Importers

Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah, chairman, GCMA

The Ghana Cement Manufacturers Association (GCMA) has dared cement importers to come out and inform Ghanaians about the basic price at which they clear their products at the country’s ports.

GCMA has also questioned customs duties paid on some 7,820,000 bags of cement imported into the country in 2014.

‘They imported 7.82 million bags in 2014 and paid GH¢18.36 million as duties and taxes as per their statement,’ the manufacturers alleged.

The GCMA stated that while importers were supposed to pay GH¢5.10 as basic and GH¢5.89 as duty per bag, they shortchanged the State by paying GH¢5.10 as basic and GH¢2.34 as duty per cement bag totaling GH¢18.36 million whereas the actual price was supposed to conform to the international standard of ($80.00 per ton).

If importers had been honest in their dealings with the State, that would have amounted to GH¢46.06 million in taxes to the State.

‘The loss to the Exchequer is GH¢28.62 million to customs and GH¢7.16 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),’ the manufacturers said, adding that this year too, the same scenario persists with the quantity and amount of duty being approximated to the nearest value.

In a letter to the Director of Taxes at the Ministry of Finance, the cement manufacturers said: ‘Our source of information reveals that two of such importers- SOL Ghana Limited and Fujiman Sectuo- declare CIF values of about $27.00 per ton and $30.00 per ton respectively. The alleged values to us, as seasoned manufacturers in the cement industry, are so unbelievable and call for the attention of the tax authorities. Such values, when confirmed, are undervalued leading to huge financial loss to the nation.’

The manufacturers feel cheated and would want the relevant authorities in the country to ensure a level playing field to ensure that both manufacturers and importers honestly honour their obligations to the State in terms of taxes and duties.

By Samuel Boadi
[email protected]

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