Benchmark Value Discounts: Akufo-Addo directs GRA to defer implementation of reversal
President Akufo-Addo has directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark value discounts on some select 43 items including vehicles.
The directive follows a meeting with GRA officials and other stakeholders.
The President gave a deadline of January 17 for all consultations to conclude by which he hopes all players understand the policy before it is rolled out.
The implementation began on January 4 but 24 hours later, GRA announced a one day suspension to allows freight forwarders who had their duty bills before January 4 to clear them.
Entities like GUTA, the Importers and Exporters Association among other relevant stakeholders have mounted stiff opposition to the policy since its announcement by the Finance Minister during his presentation of the 2022 budget.
Government introduced the Benchmark Policy in 2019 in accordance with the World Customs Organization’s policy of regular review of valuation database.
Under this policy, taxes on select imported goods were reduced by 50 percent.
The import value for cars was also reduced by 30 percent.
It was government’s hope that the reduction would translate to lower prices of goods in the country, as well as reduce smuggling.
But government says these goals have no materialised. Hence, the reversal.