The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Isaac Crenstil, has cautioned traders and businesspeople against smuggling.
Mr Crenstil noted that import duties have been reduced by 50 per cent and, therefore, does not see the need for any businessperson smuggling goods into the country.
Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 25 April 2019, Mr Crenstil told show host Benjamin Akakpo that revenue collection, which the government uses for infrastructural development across the country, is a shared responsibility of all citizens and, therefore, urged the public to alert the authorities when anyone attempts to smuggle goods.
“Revenue collection is a shared national responsibility and not for only the Ghana Revenue Authority. Every Ghanaian who wants the nation to develop must assist us. Import duties have been slashed by 50 per cent, so, why do you still want to smuggle? So, I’m pleading with the traders, please, don’t listen to anybody, if you have any challenges, we at the Customs Division have a client service [unit] at the Ghana Revenue Authority, so, you can go and inquire so that we can help you,” Mr Crenstil said.
He noted that to assist traders who may find it difficult paying import duties, the Division has a rescheduling law package where “you pay a deposit and within three months, when the bank can guarantee for you, we let you take your goods away. So, I don’t see why you should listen to somebody that they can help you bring your goods into the country and, therefore, you smuggle.”
The Customs Division is one of the three divisions of the GRA, the state organisation responsible for the collection of both direct and indirect taxes on behalf of the government.
These include Import duty, Import VAT, Export Duty, Petroleum Taxes, Import Excise and other levies. These taxes and levies are collected on general goods as well as vehicles.
The Customs Division also protects revenue by preventing smuggling and this is done by physically patrolling the borders and other strategic points, examination of goods as well as documents relating to the goods, and search of premises.