Traders of imported vehicle spare parts may not be enjoying the tax cuts on their wares anytime soon. At least, this is the indication from the industry with the implementation of the scrapping of the 1 percent special import levy by the GRA.
The businesses were tipped to benefit from the tax cuts to ease the cost of doing business in Ghana. But the situation may not be so. The news of the scrapping of the taxes on imported spare parts was met with much appreciation by spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai, here in the nation’s capital.
The traders were already indicating some price cuts following the elimination of the taxes. But the implementation of such juicy appears to be out of the radar. Apparently not happy with the development, the importers describe the move as a display of betrayal.
The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters association, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit, explained their frustration. A statement by the Acting Commissioner General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, directed officers at the ports and customs to adhere to the implementation of the 1 percent special import levy from last Friday.
Checks have revealed that, the HS codes that were referred to by the directive from the GRA, only centered on Chapters 84 and 85 that affect electrical machinery and their parts, as well as nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and their parts. In the HS code, Chapter 87 rather centers on the vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock and parts and accessories thereof.
Information available also indicates that, the government is currently engaging the spare parts dealers to identify lists that will be affected by the tax cuts. This is however subject to the ratification by Parliament since they fall under the Common External Tarrif whose review is subject to a minimum of five years.
Meanwhile, a tax analyst, William Demetia, has predicted dire consequences for all stakeholders. He however urged the government to manage expectations. “I think that we need to manage expectations…some people labour under the assumptions that there will be no charges on their goods.
Apart from the duties, there are other components that are worked on before the imported goods leave the ports. All these would have to be explained for people to understand that it is only the import duties that will be taken away,” he remarked.