Currently, the trading community is overburdened with 16 levies and taxes, takes between 50 and 55 per cent of their importing capital. ‘We do not want government to add any layer of cost to doing business because we’re already over-stretched,’ stated the President if the organization Dr.Obeng.
Dr Obeng expressed the Association’s unhappiness over government’s intention to introduce a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) at the country’s entry point as another levy on importers to shore up government’s revenue.
‘We don’t have any qualms about anything that would enhance government’s revenues, but if government is bringing that Cargo Tracking Note, which would add extra cost on our business, then we will strongly resist it,’ he stated.
Importers used to pay one per cent levy to the Destination Inspection Companies (DICs), however, after government proscribed the activities of DICs, that levy was not abolished, ‘So government should go into that fund and collect that CTN levy, instead of bringing another levy.’
The GUTA President noted that, Government had not accounted for the levies it collected under the ECOWAS Levy, and ‘so we don’t know how much was collected though we have heard from the grape vine that about US$50 million dollars was collected’.
Government has started implementing the African Union (AU) Levy, which the trading community were already displeased about it, because they expected government to take monies from the ECOWAS levy for that purpose. ‘We’re not happy with the AU levy because not all the African countries are collecting it and so why should Ghana rush in implementing it.
Government should be fair with importers because the Common External Tariffs, which government introduced some years ago has raised the levies importers’ are paying and we’re gradually falling out of the ECOWAS market,’. Traders within the Sub-region are not coming to Ghana to trade, so we’re not benefiting from the about 350 million population in ECOWAS, which is adversely affecting our business.