June 15, 2017

Parliament has amended the Customs Act, 2015 Act 891 to remove duty payable on specific imported vehicular parts.

This follows the introduction of an amendment Bill by the Minister of Finance to that effect is in fulfillment of Government`s proposal in the 2017 Budget statement and economic policy to reduced or abolish some taxes in order to bring relief to consumers and to stimulate growth in certain sectors of the economy. Government as a result introduced the bill to amend the Customs Act 891 to reduce the cost of supplies of vehicular spare parts.

The passage was not without the usual debates that are associated with such issues from both sides of the house as the Minority claims that the Bill was unconstitutional and breaches ECOWAS protocols.

Presenting the Committee of Finance report on the proposed amendment before its passage, Chairman of the committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah stated that the amount realized from the taxes on the specific vehicle spare parts for 2016 was about Ghc 97 million.

As to how much revenue would be lost to the State as a result of the passage of the Bill, It was explained that the Ministry of Finance did not forecast revenues from the selected spare parts in the 2017 budget and economic policy statement. The committee noted that a little over 30Million has been realized from the affected taxes for the first quarter of 2017.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah noted that Ghana does not require the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs to approve the passage of the bill but has duly informed the CET Secretariat of the policy. Ghana has a total of 170 exempt lines out of which only 118 exhausted thus still leaving a balance of 52 exempt lines still available.

Ranking Member of the Finance committee, Casiel Ato Forson however reminded that the tax cut on duty payable on specific imported vehicular parts as a result of the new law is just temporal. He noted the country will have to restore the tax cut after five years, ending 2020 as a result of ECOWAS protocols.

He also objected why government failed to remove all duties on spare parts as promised in the Budget statement.
By Christian Kpesese/ghanamps.com