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GRA to pay GH¢2m as duty drawback

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, President of GNCC, addressing participants in the workshop
Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, President of GNCC, addressing participants in the workshop

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is set to pay GH¢2 million as duty drawback to about 27 companies in the country.

 

According to the authority, the fund is expected to be disbursed from July 5, this year.

An officer at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Ebenezer T. M. Ayettey, said this at a stakeholders’ consultation workshop on duty drawback organised in Accra by the GNCC, in partnership with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF).

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“I can state on authority that all the companies that have filed for the drawback have received their refund, even on Tuesday about 27 companies will receive theirs,” he said.

Criticisms 

Exporters have raised concerns about several instances where drawback was never realised.  

Most of the exporters on a number of platforms have called on the Customs Division of the GRA to streamline the duty drawback regime in order to help businesses in the export trade to thrive.

It is for this reason that the GNCC embarked on a campaign to engage stakeholders in the export trade to strategise on how best to reduce the bottlenecks and cumbersome nature of the administrative procedures of the drawback regime.

One after the other, the participants took turns to voice their concerns about the negative effects the duty drawback was having on the survival of their company.

A participant, Mr Van Abel, told the Daily Graphic after the workshop that his company filed for the duty drawback about three years ago, but was yet to receive its entitlement.

That, he said, had dipped his company’s revenue drastically. 

He, however, indicated that there must be an interest charge on delays if the scheme was established to enhance the international competitiveness of Ghana’s private sector.

Another participant, Mr Kwame Buadu, opined that although the authority had settled all claims his company filed for this year, most of the claims made had been rejected over the years.

“The reason being that even though they imported the goods into the country and added value to them, the export was done by another entity and, therefore, the original importer in question is not entitled to any claims,” he added. 

Mr John Manu (a participant) recounted the number of times he had travelled from Takoradi to Accra just to follow up on administrative procedures of the drawback.

He called on the authority to set up a duty drawback desk at every office of the GRA across the country to help business in the export trade get access to their services.

Response 

The Chief Revenue Officer in charge of Duty Drawback, Mrs Sheila Vigbeador, responded to the complaints made at the workshop and admitted that there were technical challenges in the refund process during 2014, but presently those challenges had been addressed and the authority did not owe any exporter who had filed his or her document properly.

She said a study conducted by the authority had revealed that companies that dealt in export trade did not diligently fill out documents at the port when importing goods into the country.

This situation, among others, she said, contributed to the delays and rejection of document at the duty drawback desk of the Customs Division of GRA.