New bonded warehousing regime begins November 1

Effective November 1 this year, certain imported goods will not be allowed to be warehoused by traders and importers, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said.

They are ethanol, lead and batteries, canned fish, canned drinks, tomato paste, cement, grease, chalk, paints and oil, and lime.

The Principal Revenue Officer (PRO) of the GRA at the Kotoka International Airport, Ernest Boakye-Appiah who disclosed this during a sensitisation and education workshop in Accra for tax payers, traders and importers, said the move was to compel traders and importers to pay duties and taxes on their products promptly.

He said previously taxes and duties on the aforementioned goods were not paid immediately upon clearing at the ports.

That, he said, locked up revenue for government and distorted its revenue projections and affect national development.

Mr Boakye-Appiah averred that the new order would allow government to rake in more tax revenues from imports.

Mr Boakye-Appiah explained:  “Warehousing is an international customs  regime whereby mostly imported and locally manufactured goods are lodged, kept, stored and secured in a private bonded warehouse under customs control where duties and taxes have not been paid out would be paid or exempted prior to release from the warehouse.”

He said the warehousing system was beneficial to traders and importers because they do not pay import duties and taxes upfront.

However, the PRO said the regime affected the government because duties and taxes on warehoused products were not paid immediately.

An Assistant Commissioner General and Sector Commander of the Customs Division, KIA, Mrs Theresa Kyei Asare entreated tax payers to honour their tax obligations.

She also entreated tax payers to be abreast of all the new tax laws in order not to fall out of them and pledged that her outfit would continue to embark on tax education for tax payers in the country.

PRO of the Legon Medium Tax Officer of the GRA, Benjamin Nsiah earlier in a presentation on the Value Added Tax (VAT) law entreated traders and importers as well as tax payers to   calculate the NHIL and GETFund levies and other taxes on their products and services before the VAT was computed.

He also indicated that with the decoupling of the VAT from the NHIL and GETFund levies, tax payers could claim the NHIL and GETFund levies as an input tax.

PRO of GRA, Mrs Selina Zefo Kere in a presentation on tax returns urged tax payers to file their tax returns because it was a legal obligation.

Mrs Kere said failure to file tax return attract a penalty of GHȻ500 plus GHȻ10 for each day of default of returns and GHȻ2000 plus GHȻ500 for each day of default for a Communication Service Tax.

The workshop was to educate the participants on the new tax laws which had decoupled the Value Added Tax from the National Health Insurance and Ghana Education Trust Fund levies.

By Kingsley Asare

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