Benchmark value reversal detrimental to businesses – Importers and Exporters Association
The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) has cautioned government that its decision to reverse the 50% benchmark value at the ports could adversely affect businesses.
According to the association, freights processed prior to the scrapping of, the benchmark value policy, which took effect today, have been denied access to their goods and are being asked to re-enter and re-valuate their goods.
This the association notes will impose real hardships on importers as they will exceed their budgets.
“Importers and clearing agencies whose Bill of Entry BOE were entered and duly accepted by the ICUMS in the last working days of 2021, have been denied access to clear their cargoes from the ports. Such importers and clearing agents are regrettably being asked to re-enter their various BOEs for new values to be charged on their cargos.”
The statement further disclosed that, “The IEAG would want to state categorically that the position taken by government and by extension the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA on this matter would be detrimental to the business community if it is not reversed immediately. It would lead to many businesses losing their cargoes since importers would have to pay more outside their budgets even at this crucial time at the beginning of a new year. In the very likely event that such importers are not able to raise the additional funds to clear their goods on time, issues of uncleared cargo lists UCL would pop up and huge loses to demurrage would set in.”
IEAG is therefore asking government to review its decision to implement the reversal of the benchmark value policy.
It is also pleading for a 14-day extension to enable affected importers and agents to clear their goods from the ports and mitigate the impact on their businesses.
“IEAG is calling on the government and for that matter the GRA to withdraw this directive with immediate effect. The IEAG demands that such importers be given at least 14 working days to clear their already cleared cargoes from the port without the new 50% benchmark values.”
“In furtherance, the IEAG would want to state that it would not hesitate to commence moves with its allies in the business community to register its displeasure about this directive should government fails to heed to our demands within 24 hours after this press statement has been issued” they threatened.