The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been directed to “immediately” halt the collection of Import VAT on some 64 commodities and also indefinitely suspend the Fumigation Levy for shippers.
The GRA began a monitoring exercise on the compliance of the tax stamp policy on March 1, 2018.
The introduction of the tax stamp was opposed by key business associations in the country including the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) who said they are unable to bear the additional cost the policy was demanding.
The GRA, however, maintained the policy was necessary to stop tax evasion.
But following an extensive consultation between government and various stakeholders, the Economic Management Team (EMT) of government decided to call for the deferment of the exercise.
According to a statement signed by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, the suspension of the Import VAT and the Fumigation Levy has become necessary as a result of the “unintended hike in import charges”.
“The Economic Management Team (EMT) has instructed the following; that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) suspends with immediate effect the charging of Import VAT on the 64 commodity groups which started on March 1, 2018 leading to an unintended hike in import charges.”
The 64 commodity groups include; Mobile phones, electrical transformers, tractors for agricultural purposes, solar cells, musical instruments, outboard motors, concrete, mortar mixers, and day-old chicks.
The statement further explains that the suspension of the Import VAT “is pending an assessment of Harmonized code (HS Codes) for customs which were reviewed effective same date”.