Business News of Thursday, 22 March 2018
The Government has announced the suspension of imported VAT charges on some 64 commodity groups.
Suspension of the import charge, which took effect from Wednesday, March 21, 2018 was as a result of a decision taken by the government after extensive consultation with the various stakeholders who operate in the sector with the Economic Management Team.
According to the government, the suspension is pending an assessment of Harmonised code for customs which were reviewed on March 1, 2018.
A statement from the Ministry of Information and signed by the Minister, Mustapha Hameed and copied to the B&FT which confirmed the suspension said with immediate effect import VAT charges had been suspend on some 64 items.
“The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) suspends with immediate effect, the charging of import VAT on the 64 commodity groups which started on March 1, 2018, leading to an unintended hike in import charges,” it said.
Though the charges have been implemented since the beginning of the month of March, various association like GUTA, Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Associations, AGI and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce among others have kicked against citing the high cost of operation.
Some of the items in question include mobile phones, day old chicks, outboard motors and electrical transformers, tractors for Agricultural purposes, Solar Cells, Musical Instruments, Concretes among others.
Also, the government in its statement suspended indefinitely the proposed ‘Fumigation Levy’ for shippers.
This comes after, government rolled out two tax policies at the beginning of this year being “Excise Tax Stamp and the “Harmonised ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET).”
Tax Stamp requires that Stamps are fixed on specified excisable products imported or manufactured in Ghana some which include canned or bottled drinks, non-alcoholic carbonated beverages, cigarette and tobacco products to enhance security and tracking features on those products.
On the other hand, the Harmonised ECOWAS CET will affect importers of goods classified under the CET.
Below is the statement from government.