Businesses push for an overhaul of port clearance processes

Business News of Thursday, 27 July 2017

Source: citibusinessnews.com

2017-07-27

Benjamin Yeboah 123Benjamin Yeboah – Executive Member, GUTA

Importers and business associations are demanding an overhaul of the revenue collection systems at the various ports in the country.

They argue that they are over burdened with taxes which impede the efficient revenue collection and general activities at the ports.

The business operators have also threatened to boycott business related activities at the ports altogether if more practical methods are not applied in running the revenue collection system at the port.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, Executive Member of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), Benjamin Yeboah also said taxes must be reduced to ease the burden they are currently facing as well as achieve tax compliance.

“Taking the 3% VAT Flat rate into consideration, what brought about the whole thing was just compliance; if you want people to comply you have to create the system such that they will comply. If you are charging fifty percent plus on CI value, you don’t get compliance and that is where the problem lies. Let’s look at the taxes, let’s look at levies and charges and how we can reduce them it will help compliance,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, a Technical Committee Member for the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kweku Otchere Darko said a smoother operation of post clearance audits at the ports would enhance their operations.

“In the new article there is a session that says that we should even reduce physical examination on consignment. But then as a result of these interdictions, even if you have ten or fifteen containers you are forced to position every container down so all of them will be stripped and you don’t even have the space that is why I am saying that clearance is an extension of custom procedures.”

Mr. Otchere Darko added that the process of checking goods that arrive in the country should be simplified in order to reduce the risk of damage to the goods “The fact that a clearance officer has checked a document doesn’t mean the job is done, it goes through examination so at the end of the day it is up to the post clearance audit to check what has been done and if any infraction is found it have bee committed then you are sent a demand notice.”

Kwaku Otchere Darko – Technical Committee Member, GIIF

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