The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Ms Benonita Bismarck has called on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)-Customs Division to enforce the implementation of the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on transit goods.
Recounting events leading to the decision, she said the GSA had had several engagements with the GRA-Customs Division on the need to abolish VAT on transit goods to alleviate the plight of transit traders.
Ms Bismarck made the appeal on 31st January, 2020 when she delivered a solidarity message in commemoration of the 2020 International Customs Day marked by Ghana Customs in Accra under the theme “ Customs Fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet.”
She praised the collaborative efforts between the two organisations in removing non-tariff barriers to make Ghana’s transit corridor the most preferable in the sub-region.
“I want to use this forum to commend the Customs Division of the GRA for listening to the concerns of transit traders and truck drivers relayed by the GSA to extend the maximum number of days for transit consignments to exit the borders of Ghana to destination countries from seven (7) to ten (10). Also worth mentioning is the reduction in penalty for overstaying the prescribed period of 10 days from GHS1,000 per day to GHS500.”, she added.
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, on his part, expressed government’s commitment to policies and programmes that will support Customs to promote and facilitate international trade.
He commended state agencies such as the GSA, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Department among others for partnering with Customs to deliver on its mandate to control the movement of goods and people in and out of the country.
This was said on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Finance in charge of Revenue, Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng, MP.
Speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the Commissioner of GRA-Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah said, among others, the WCO was committed to the implementation of risk management techniques and data analytics to facilitate trade, stimulate economic growth and attract foreign investment, thus contributing to the reduction of poverty.
The International Customs Day is an annual event marked by the WCO and its member Customs Administrations to provide a platform for the global Customs community to dialogue with their stakeholders and to review commitments to thematic issues relating to their common interests and goals.