GRA declare zero tolerance on smuggling goods

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has declared zero tolerance on people who engaged in smuggling of goods through the neighbouring countries into Ghana.

The Authority has therefore vowed to deal with persons who smuggle goods into the country and deprive the state of the needed revenue.

Mr Emmanuel Kofi-Nti, the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority sounded the caution during a familiarisation visit to Spare Parts Dealers at Abossey Okai, traders and traders at the Central Business District.

The visit was also to access if traders were enjoying the recent import duties cuts announced by the government.

He expressed worry about the situation and said when the Authority arrest a vehicle with smuggled goods, the vehicle would be impounded, goods confiscated and the driver of the vehicle be prosecuted.

“There are laws and we are going to enforce the law and we will use the arrest of some people as an example and a deterrent to others. There will be no option to pay penalty,” he said.

As part of measures, he said the GRA would increase the checkpoints at the borders from four to six to check smuggling and advised importers to use the approved routes, adding that, “When you are caught, we will not spare you.”

Mr Kofi-Nti said because of the high charges at Ghana’s ports most of importers preferred to use the Togo part, which lead to the Togo part recording a growth of 300 percent whilst that of Ghana grew by 4.9 percent last year.

He said it was worrying that some Ghanaian importers use the Togo port and smuggled the goods into the country.

Mr Kofi-Nti explained cut in duties at the port was not for about 70 selected items as being speculated on some social media platform, but it includes all goods that came through the Ghanaian ports.

Mr Clement Boateng, Co-chair of Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, stated that Ghanaian traders in the area were not involved in goods smuggling, but other nationals were those involved in such activities.

“These are bad practices and detrimental to the development of the country. They have taken over the retail business,” he said. GNA

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