Customs Division of GRA exposes clearing agent

Business News of Monday, 25 September 2017

Source: EOP

2017-09-25

Mate KodjoFelix Mate-Kodjo, Tema Sector Commander – Customs Division of GRA

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has in its grips a 40-footer container which was under-declared by an importer at the Nick scan at the Tema Port.

The clearing agent under the agency name Semana Logistics Limited, declared four items in a container from china, but was said to contain other undeclared items. The items indicated were knapsack sprayer machine 16 liter plastic, cutting ring cone crusher, jaw crusher frame and bucket ears for excavator. But the cargo was said to contain other undeclared items like boxes of phones, chargers and batteries.

At a press conference, the Tema Sector Commander of the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Felix Mate-Kodjo announced that, instead of declaring all items in the container which was expected to generate a duty of GH¢60,000 to be paid to the state, the clearing agent only declared just a few and paid GH¢5,850.

The Assistant Commissioner warned that clearing agents who seek to defraud the state by resorting to dubious means to steal from the system will be fished out through the new paperless systems. He says the system is extremely robust that no one will be able to cheat the system anymore.

He says agents and importers or exporters who will attempt any such practices will surely be fished out arrested and made to face the full rigors of the laws of the country.

“As much as customs will like to create a platform to enable people clear their goods very quickly, people should not take advantage to cheat the system. We want to assure the public that we are ready to identify people who want to take advantage and that we are up and doing in the cause of our work,” he cautioned.

The Sector Commander of Tema Port, Felix Mate-Kodjo explained that, the agent is therefore required to pay GH¢180,000.00 which is 300% interest on the initial duty in addition to the original duty of GH¢60,000.00.

“We are more interested in our revenue, so they are going to pay three times the duty liability plus the duty itself. They are going to pay the duty that they were trying to invade plus three times that liability so in essence they are going to pay four times the duty,” he noted.

He said custom officers are more than vigilant to ensure that the state does not loose revenue.

It is reported by the Vice President that, there has been a considerable surge in the revenue generated at the country’s ports since the paperless system commenced on 1st September, 2017 a development that is making many people applaud the government for embarking on such a bold decision and direction.

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