The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has called on the government to review the formula for calculating duties on imported used vehicles into the country as the current rates are high.
The current formula incorporates the age of the imported vehicle, about 50 per cent depreciation of the original manufactured price and other components.
Interacting with journalists in Accra on the valuation of used vehicles, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPA, Mr Kofi Kapito, talked about his recent experience of paying duty which was about twice the price of a car he imported into the country and said: “The rate is too high and must be reviewed.”
“In December, I imported a vehicle which I bought at $8,000. The year of manufacture was 2008; to my surprise the clearing agent said the duty was $13, 449,” he said.
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The formulae for calculating the duty on the car, he explained, was that because the vehicle was manufactured in 2008 at a cost of $8,000 it was valued at $55,000 as the original manufactured price and a 50 per cent depreciation was given “so an $8,000 car now cost almost $25,000 upon arrival in Ghana.”
He said the system of using the age and original manufactured price was “unfair to the importer. It is criminal, illegal and unacceptable.
I have petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Speaker of Parliament, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, the Minister of Finance, the Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Chief of Staff, to make efforts for the reduction in the import duties on second hand vehicles.”
Mr Kapito said currently most of the used vehicles imported into the country were those affected by floods and accident.
Such vehicles, he said, would in the long run cost the country more foreign exchange and in some cases deaths from accident since some of them had had their wiring systems destroyed by the floods.
When the valuation of the imported used vehicles was reviewed downwards, Mr Kapito said, it would enable Ghanaians to buy vehicles that were in good condition instead of those he described as unsafe.
He said while the sitting government could not be blamed for the high import duties on vehicles, as the valuation formulae had been in existence for years, it was time to take a look at the formula again.
“If you look at our surrounding countries, their duties are very reasonable, compared with the high rates in Ghana, hence the increase in the number of Ghanaians driving vehicles from other countries into Ghana and evading taxes,” Mr Kapito said.