The Ghana Revenue Authority has dismissed reports that it has been directed by the Ministry of Finance to reverse the 50% benchmark value on imports.
According to the Authority, the benchmark value policy also known as the discount policy continues to be implemented as originally announced by His Excellency, the Vice President, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia.
It will be recalled that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, had in early April, 2019, directed the reduction of the benchmark value or delivery values of imports, by 50%, except for vehicles which were to be reduced by 30%.
This was part of efforts to reduce the menace of smuggling and make the country’s ports more competitive and attractive.
However, a statement issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority says “the attention of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been drawn to a letter making the rounds in the media on the ‘Benchmark’ value reduction policy (the discount policy).”
“The Ghana Revenue Authority wishes to state that, “the said document with the list of items at both the heading and sub-heading levels of the HS code is an internal document analyzing the impact of the discount policy on our revenue collection with regards to those items as well as the impact on local industries, public health safety and the environment.
It further notes that, “the internal analysis was not approved by the Central Government and is thus applicable.”
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson E.K. Dafeamekpor, has asked the Ministry of Finance to seek parliamentary approval before directing the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, to reverse the 50% benchmark value reduction.
He says the move will be an illegality if it is implemented, as it has not been sanctioned by Parliament.
GRA welcomes reduction in import values
Following the announcement by the Vice President, last year, The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) stated that it was optimistic that the announcement of the reduction of the benchmark values on some goods at the port will help the authority meet its financial target for the year as it was not able to meet it.