The implementation of the textiles tax stamps policy aimed at tackling the influx of pirated and fake textiles in the country as well as other challenges in the industry is slated to commence on November 1 this year.
Implementation modalities of the policy, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen would include having textiles stamps affixed on all textile prints traded in Ghana.
Speaking at an engagement forum with textiles wholesalers and retailers on the policy in Accra on Friday, he said, the textiles tax stamp policy was one of six measures aimed at finding lasting solutions to the challenges and also strengthen the textiles sector to create jobs for Ghanaians.
The forum was to sensitise and educate the public, particularly dealers in the industry on the introduction of the textiles tax stamps as part of the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges of the textiles industry as well as developing the sector to harness the significant gains the sector stands to offer.
Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority-Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Intellectual Property Office and Ghana Standards Authority.
The other measures, he noted include, Import management systems; Introduction of Designated Entry Corridors (Tema Port and Aflao Border for textile imports); Provision of Incentive Packages for local manufacturers to make them competitive; attract foreign textile manufacturers to set up or relocate their plants in Ghana; and reconstitute the Task Force to embark on effective market monitoring and surveillance.
Mr Kyerematen revealed that the local demand for African prints was about 120 million yards per annum, of which the local supply is just about 35 per cent (42million yards), with the remaining 65 per cent imported.
He recalled that the local textiles industry used to be vibrant in the last three decades, but that the influx of pirated designs and gross infringements on trademarks of local textile manufacturers have been identified as two of the key areas which have adversely affected the textiles industry in the country.
The government, he said, we convinced that the policy measures would lead to the development of the local textile firms to reduce the import of pirated textiles by promoting local manufacturing.
Mr Kyerematen assured the stakeholders that, despite the introduction of the measures, importation of textiles was still allowed since the country does not currently have the local manufacturing capacity to meet the total national demand of over 120 million yards per annum.
He expressed the hope that the policies were going to help streamline the imports of textiles and further ensure that all the players involved in the textiles industry benefit.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS