Parliament to amend law to ban importation of more than 10yr old cars

Subject to the passage of the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020, importers would be banned from importing vehicles which are more than ten years old. 

The importation of salvaged or accident motor vehicles into the country would also be prohibited. 

The following were contained in the report of the Finance and Trade, Industry and Tourism committees on the Bill which went through the second reading in Parliament yesterday. 

The ban is in anticipation of the commencement of operations by car manufacturing companies at least by the first quarter of this year.

The companies include German car maker, Volkswagen, expected to start operating by end of the first quarter, Toyota, by August 2020, Nissan, second quarter and Suziki before end of year. 

Discussions, the report revealed, were ongoing between the government, Renault, Kia and Hyundai for the establishment of their manufacturing plants here.

Per the report, an estimated GH₵802,251,785 would be lost in the first three years of implementation of the law. 

According to the report, the seven-clause amendment bill would provide incentives for car manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automative Manufacturing Development Programme (GAMDP). 

Tamale Central Member, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, speaking to the motion moved by Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei Asare, said the bill if passed would push ‘second hand’ car dealers out of business. 

“A large section of Ghanaians are into second hand car business. This will push them out of business,” he said. 

Though he noted that the Act was well intended to make Ghana a car manufacturing hub in the West Africa sub region, Alhaji  Fuseini said there was the need to develop an investment incentive regime that would guide investment into the sector. 

He fears a monopoly would be created for the multinational companies at the expense of local car importers and urged the Finance Ministry to reconsider the provision which bars the importation of cars of ten years and above. 

But Information Minister and MP for Ofoase/Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, said the effect would not be that much because only 17 per cent of importers would be affected. 

He clarified that provision would only come into force when the automobile companies start production. 

He said that before admission to venture into car manufacturing business, the investors would have presented am investment plan including pricing to ensure that the prices were not exorbitant. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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