Importers of used vehicles and auto spare parts in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Capital, have described the upfront payment of duty as discriminatory.
They have therefore called on the state to consider reviewing the policy that mandates them to pay duties upfront for goods they import.
The aggrieved importers made the call when officials of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) engaged them in Kumasi to address challenges in the business.
According to them, the policy threatens the survival of Ghanaian businesses to the advantage of their foreign counterparts who could afford to pay the duty upfront.
Secretary of the Used Truck and Spare Parts Importers Association, Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, told the customs officials that import volumes have dropped significantly as a result of the policy.
According to him, “we are by this petition calling on you to humbly request an urgent audience with the relevant government authorities to resolve a common recourse to a post duty sale regime.”
The Secretary stated that “the deficiencies in this upfront policy regime as applied to our industry is rather at cross-purposes with the object of the policy to improve the prospects of government revenue. “
He added that “the upfront duty policy regime on our members is a major locked –up capital challenge to the indigenous business, which has in effect reduced significantly the volumes of importation and consequently affects the general volume of revenue that would have accrued to the government.”