Government has announced the suspension of imported VAT charges on some 64 commodity groups.
“The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) suspends with immediate effect, the charging of import VAT on the 64 commodity groups which started on March 1, 2018, leading to an unintended hike in import charges,” a statement from the Ministry of Information and signed by Mustapha Hameed has stated.
The suspension, which took effect from Wednesday, March 21, 2018, was as a result of a decision taken by the government after extensive consultation with the various stakeholders who operate in the sector with the Economic Management Team.
“After extensive consultation between the government and various stakeholders, the Economic Management Team has instructed that the proposed fumigation levy for shippers be indefinitely suspended,” the statement added.
Businesses welcome the suspension
Some businesses have welcomed government’s decision to suspend charging VAT on some imported items as well as the fumigation levy.
President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah said, “this was actually going to be a cost item that they've not plan for and the fact that it has been removed means that the status quo remains so at least for a foreseeable time they will know how to adjust even if this will have to happen into the future.”
He said, “I am sure that it is going to be done in such a manner that people can expect when these things will be happening for which reason they will be able to make adjustments here and there.”
Mr Ofosu Appiah added, “So for us that was the factor, this one was too abrupt and the fact that it has been taken away sends us back into the original cue…we hope that in the future even if this thought is going to be raised again it would have to be revisited with a lot of considerations.”
The Import VAT which started on March 1 this year resulted in hikes in taxes paid on some 64 items, like mobile phones, day old chicks, outboard motors and electrical transformers, tractors for Agricultural purposes, Solar Cells, Musical Instruments, Concretes among others.
Associations like Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Associations, Association of Ghana Institute (AGI) and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce among others kicked against the Import VAT and the fumigation levy citing the high cost of operations.
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