Hasty implementation of benchmark value reversal is causing confusion – Freight forwarders

Freight forwarders have described as hasty, government’s reversal of the 50% slash on duty on some imported goods and 30% reduction on imported cars.

It said the development has led to confusion, with various stakeholders facing challenges clearing their goods.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Tema branch chairman for the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Johnny Mantey said they did not expect the government to undertake the policy change in the manner it did.

According to him, they expected the government to give adequate information about the new directive and ample time for the various stakeholders to adjust before formally rolling it out.

“We are at a loss. It is just confusion all over. I don’t understand how you expect people to pay duty, yet you are blocking them so that they pay more. What is the rush? Give enough information, let people prepare and at a certain time when people are aware, then you tell them what to anticipate. You can’t give information on Friday night, and today you want people to adjust,” he said.

Mr. Mantey however, revealed that there is a planned meeting amongst all stakeholders to plan the way forward.

Freight forwarders have already registered their displeasure with the new policy decision.

Some who spoke to Citi News earlier expressed displeasure about the retrospective application of the restored benchmark value in the computation of duties at the ports.

“This is a system you are updating today, and it shouldn’t affect the old ones that we have already put in the system because those declarations have been worked on by Customs. If you knew that you were not going to accept it, you shouldn’t have worked on it. We have accepted it and now that we are going to pay, you are not allowing us to pay,” Romeo Frimpong, a freight forwarder said.

The implementation of the reversal of the 50 percent benchmark value on imports took effect on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

The reversal will affect 43 items under three categories prescribed by the GRA.

Some items include rice, poultry, sugar, palm oil, toilet paper, mosquito coils, machetes, and vehicles.

Source: Modern Ghana

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