Friday, 23 February

New exchange rates for port duties could worsen high costs of goods and services – IEAG

Samson Asaki Awingobit - Executive Secretary (IEAG)

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) says it is saddened by a recent development at the country's ports, which if not addressed could worsen the already hardships being witnessed with regards to goods and services.

The association has described as alarming that, import duties at the country's ports have skyrocketed at an abnormal rate, leaving them with huge debts due to payment of import duties.

In a statement, the association said there have been huge differences in import duties and taxes at the port in the last 72 hours due to some differences in the exchange rate pegged by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

It alleged that “as of Tuesday the 27th of September 2022, an exchange rate of 8.2938 has been pegged at 9.5462, which will be due for adjustment on Monday the 3rd of October 2022.”

“We as an association find this sudden adjustment by Customs as appalling, because, some freight Forwarders (clearing agents) have produced documented evidence alluding to the fact that, they had to pay about GHS25,000 extra on duties due to the abnormal increment in the exchange rate. Some even had to pay in the excess of GHS107,613 from an initial duty of GHS78,567, while others had to pay a whopping GHS102,181.08 for an initial duty of GHS88,446.09,” the association lamented.

They want to know what informed the recent upward adjustment in the exchange rate by customs, given the fact that the cost of goods and services is on the ascendancy.

According to IEAG, with Ghanaians already feeling the brunt of the increment in prices of goods and services, there could be more hardship in the coming days if nothing is done to address the situation since Importers will equally pass on these incurring debts to the ordinary consumer.

They are, therefore, urging authorities to as a matter of urgency, adopt pragmatic measures to ensure these abnormal costs being incurred by importers, freight forwarders, and traders are mitigated to serve the interest of the country at large.

Source: Mensah