Ghana: AGI and Association of Importers and Exporters disagree on reversal of benchmarks

The Ghanaian Industries Association (AGI) has urged the government to ignore calls from some stakeholders to put the implementation of the baseline reversal on hold for further consultations.

Speaking in an interview with Joy News, the Association’s executive director, Seth TwumAkwaboah said the government should move forward with implementing the benchmarks while it puts consultations aside.

“I am totally against, the government should not suspend the implementation, but rather the consultation should continue. Let’s implement it, see what happens along the line. The product sets that we have production challenges, let’s see how we can quickly shut down those capacities and ensure that the local capacity is institutional, ”he noted.

He explained that the suspension of benchmarks would mean that local industries would be subverted.

According to MrAkwaboah, with the establishment of African continental free trade, the capacity of local industries must be strengthened to prevent imported goods from overtaking the local market.

“If you don’t build up your local capacity because you allow duty-free importation, it will wipe out your whole market, but if you increase the local capacity now, you can also export to enter other markets, so if you suspend that means you are forever killing the local industry and it will never work, so let’s continue the consultation but the star implementation, ”he explained.

Meanwhile, the executive secretary of the Association of Importers and Exporters of Ghana, Samson AasakiAwingobit, said the implementation of the policy came at an unfortunate time.

“We think now is not the right time. Look at the economic situation of ordinary Ghanaians, their financial situation, that they say the government is the biggest employer. I firmly believe that it is not the good time to look at the cost of living in the country now, ”he said.

As of Tuesday January 4, 2022, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will begin the implementation of the government policy directive on the reversal of import value reduction on 43 selected items.

Items to be assigned include the home delivery value of vehicles, goods to which benchmarks are applied, and all other goods.

This means that the home delivery value of vehicles will no longer be reduced by 30%.