AGI members call for review of the warehousing regime

Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – Members of the Association
of Ghana Industries (AGI), especially manufacturers, have called on government
to review the Customs Act regarding bonded warehousing to save their businesses
from collapse.

Speaking at a seminar on the warehousing
regime and port clearance organised by the AGI, they said the introduction of
additional requirements under the law, such as letters of credit and bank
guarantees in addition to the insurance bond, was making it difficult for them
to operate efficiently.

Parliament passed the Customs Amendment Act,
2017 on December 29, providing additional requirements for the bonded
warehousing of goods and other related matters.

The warehousing regime is the situation where
imported goods are stored under customs control in a government or private
bonded warehouse, without the payment of import duty and other taxes on the
goods at the entry point.

The taxes are paid as the goods are removed
from the warehouse.

Traders have three months to store perishable
goods, 12 months for general goods and two years for raw materials.

Addressing the concerns of the members, Mr Bob
Senyalah, Assistant Commissioner, Customs Division of the GRA, said it was not
the desire of government to stifle business operations, but some negative practices
of some operators led to the introduction of the additional measures to
safeguard government’s revenue collections.

He cited the unauthorised removal of goods
from bonded warehouses without the supervision of customs officials, thereby
denying government of the needed revenue.

Mr Senyalah said companies stood to benefit
enormously from the warehouse regime such as direct cost savings and holding of
large stock of goods.

In a welcome address, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah,
the Executive Director of AGI said the seminar was intended to create a
platform for the exchange of information for enhanced understanding of the
warehousing processes and procedures and to address the concerns of members,

The seminar was also used to educate taxpayers
on tax compliance and trade facilitation systems in their business operations
to ensure quality service delivery.

GNA

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