The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has postponed the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark value discount to Thursday, January 6, 2022.
This is to allow importers who got their duty bill before the initial implementation date of 4 January 2022, to pay and clear their goods.
The GRA’s decision comes on the back of complaints by members of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) about the fact that the new decision was being implemented with retrospective effect.
The IEAG, in a statement on Tuesday, 4 January 2022, expressed its displeasure at the conduct of business at some ports of entry pursuant to the government's implementation of the reversal of the 50% benchmark values.
IEAG said it has observed that importers and clearing agencies whose Bill of Entry (BOE) were entered and duly accepted by the ICUMS platform in the last working days of 2021, have been denied access to clear their cargoes from the ports.
Such importers and clearing agents, according to IEAG, are “regrettably” being asked to re-enter their various BOEs for new values to be charged on their cargo.
IEAG also observed that the ICUMS platform has been shut to all importers and clearing agents whose processes have already been completed in 2021 and waiting to clear their cargoes from the ports.
The group stated that the position that has been taken by the government and, by extension, the GRA on this matter, would be detrimental to the business community if it is not reversed immediately.
Below are details of the press statement:
PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/01/2022
ALL MEDIA HOUSES
Pursuant to the government's implementation of the reversed 50% benchmark values at all ports of entry today 4the January 2022 and having observed the process so far, the Secretariat of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana IEAG would want to register its categorical displeasure and utter shock over the process so far.
The IEAG secretariat has made the following surprising observations at the various ports of entry on Tuesday 4th January 2022:
1. Importers and clearing agencies whose Bill of Entry BOE were entered and duly accepted by the ICUMS in the last working days of 2021, have been denied access to clear their cargoes from the ports. Such importers and clearing agents are regrettably being asked to re-enter their various BOEs for new values to be charged on their cargo.
2. The ICUMS platform has been shut to all importers and clearing agents whose processes have already been completed in the last year of 2021 and waiting to clear their cargoes from the ports.
OUR POSITION ON THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT
The IEAG would want to state categorically that the position taken by the government and by extension the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA on this matter would be detrimental to the business community if it is not reversed immediately. It would lead to many businesses losing their cargoes since importers would have to pay more outside their budgets even at this crucial time at the beginning of a new year.
In the very likely event that such importers are not able to raise the additional funds to clear their goods on time, issues of uncleared cargo list UCL would pop up and huge losses to demurrage would set in.
Therefore, the IEAG is calling on the government and for that matter the GRA to withdraw this directive with immediate effect.
The IEAG demands that such importers be given at least 14 working days to clear their already cleared cargoes from the port without the new 50% benchmark values.
In furtherance, the IEAG would want to state that it would not hesitate to commence moves with its allies in the business community to register its displeasure about this directive should government fails to heed our demands within 24 hours after this press statement has been issued.
Issued and signed by:
Executive Secretary, IEAG
Samson Asaki Awingobit
4th January 2022.