Warehouses operators decry ban on import of selected items

Business News of Monday, 5 November 2018

Source: citibusinessnews.com

2018-11-05

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Warehouse operators are appealing to the Ghana Revenue Authority to review a decision to ban some selected items from being kept in warehouses.

The Ghana Revenue Authority has banned the storage of imported canned tomatoes, alcohol, lead acid batteries, cooking oil, canned drinks, and canned fish from the customs bounded warehouses as part of a new regime.

Importers of the banned products can no longer keep them in customs bounded warehouses.

The authority revised the regime following abuse of the system by importers who fail to pay duties and taxes on their goods.

But reacting to the new directive, the warehouse operators complain the new system will have financial effect on their operations.

One of them, Nii Kwaku Blecher a Manager at the Nungua Warehousing limited told Citi Business News, an upfront payment of duties on their goods will attract demurrage.

“ It will affect us because we have between 20 containers to 40 containers coming in, and paying the duties on the spot is not easy. So now we have to reduce the quantity of the product we import to 10 containers and that will mean not meeting the demand of the market.”

He added further that, “sometimes we import a shipload and so when that comes and there is no money to clear, then it means we will pay demurrage and that will be about USD150,000 per day looking at the quantity of our goods. So if something can be done for those who import large quantities, it will help us, so that we take in the goods before we pay the duties.”

The warehousing policy gives importers who do not have funds readily available to clear their goods from the ports, the opportunity to raise funds while their products are kept in government warehouses.

Commissioner General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti has explained the move is to ensure proper accountability and discipline in that area.

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