The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana is insisting it will not back any resolution other than government overturning the controversial reversal of the benchmark value discounts on selected imported goods.
Government through the Ghana Revenue Authority, removed the discounts on benchmark values on some imported items, but the decision has been faced with opposition from some groups in the business community who claim it will bring severe hardship and lead to an increase in the cost of goods.
Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Asaki Awingobit, said businesses in the country will collapse if it’s not reversed.
“We are expecting nothing less than government saying they are not going to implement the reversal until proper stakeholder engagements.”
“This military way of taking and making decisions is not the best. The reason for the benchmark value in the first place has not changed. The plight of the business community has even been worsened. We do not think this is the right time to reverse the benchmark values, and we are not ready to compromise.”
The reversal, which was announced by the Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA) on Sunday, January 2, 2022, was scheduled to take effect on January 6, 2022.
It will affect 43 selected items including rice, poultry, sugar, palm oil, toilet paper, mosquito coils, machetes, and vehicles.
The government introduced the benchmark policy in 2019 in accordance with the World Customs Organization’s policy of regular review of valuation databases.
Under this policy, certain commodities are benchmarked to the prevailing world prices as a risk management tool, to reflect the true market dynamics of these commodities.
It also took into consideration factors such as protection of health, the environment, and security, as well as protection of local industries.