New tax cuts take effect in 2018 – GRA assures

Business News of Friday, 15 December 2017



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The Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division has announced the tax cuts and abolition announced in the 2017 budget will take effect next year.

The assurance follows communication to the Economic Community of West Africa States through the newly- amended Common External Tariffs.

About ten different taxes were abolished while others were reduced during the budget reading early this year.

Business and industry players have complained the taxes remain in force despite the announcement followed by Parliamentary approval.

Assistant Commissioner for the Sunyani Divison, Alhaji Yakubu Seidu, however, tells Luv Biz the changes delayed because ECOWAS needed to be informed under the Common External Tariff arrangement.

The Common External Tariff is the single tariff rate agreed to by all member states of ECOWAS.

This means that the same tariff will be charged on an eligible item imported into the ECOWAS sub-region, irrespective of which ECOWAS-member country it lands in.

“We are within a community, Ghana cannot do anything in isolation, ECOWAS must be notified properly before we can implement it. Duty rates were there within the ECOWAS and now we must vary from it so we must notify ECOWAS.

“So we engaged them and we came to a compromised the tariff we have now, we have incorporated all the changes that were in the budget statement including those with zero rates on all these spare parts,” he said.

Officials explain the newly adjusted Common External Tariffs was expected it to be domesticated and implemented by 2017 but It delayed because it has to go through Parliament for approval.

After getting it done at the ECOWAS level and adopted it to the local level, officials say.

“We assure you that it will be implemented fully by 1 January 2018,” Alhaji Yakubu Seidu said.

He spoke to Luv Biz at a public engagement in Kumasi with importers and other stakeholders on the recent amendments to the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs.

It was to educate them on the harmonizing system of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff and other schedules to enable flexibility to the change.

Alhaji Seidu says 233 changes have been made in the amendments to facilitate trade and commerce among member countries.

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