Government bags GH¢12 billion from import duties - Paperless system plays key role
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has mobilised about GH¢12 billion from import duties and is on target to achieve the GH¢13 billion set for the 2018 fiscal year, data from the GRA suggests.
When achieved, the target will represent about GH¢2 billion increase over the GH¢11.43 billion of revenue the GRA collected last year from importers.
The revenue authority mobilised about GH¢5.8 billion in the first half of the year from the same source.
As of the end of October, collection from import duties amounted to GH¢11.5 billion.
Sources within the GRA have attributed the appreciation import duty performance largely to the implementation of the paperless port system at the country’s sea ports, under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government.
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The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Customs Division of the GRA, West Blue Consulting and the Ghana Community Network (GCNet) Services, among other stakeholders, have been instrumental in the success of the paperless port system that has translated into increasing government revenue at the ports as the system has blocked the indiscriminate revenue leakages.
Doing Business rankings
The achievement at the ports has seen Ghana’s ranking improve to 156 in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, with trading across borders scoring 54.84 points in 2018, up from 52.32.
According to the report, Ghana made importing easier by implementing a paperless customs clearance processing system.
The government has rolled out numerous interventions in recent months as part of efforts to maximise the socio-economic gains of the ports and maritime sector.
Among them are the reduction in the number of inspection agencies at the port, the paperless process of goods clearance, as well as the pulling down of customs barriers along trade corridors.
Also, port inspection agencies have been reduced from 16 to three (GRA - Customs Division, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Food and Drugs Authority) to reduce clearing time and enhance efficient revenue collection, which have resulted in 24 per cent increase in government revenue collections.
The Single Window and paperless regime, according to a recent University of Ghana Business School report, had saved the country about $500 million since its implementation.