GRA’s Valuation Reference Price List Illegal – GIFF

GRA’s Valuation Reference Price List Illegal – GIFF


THE GHANA Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has kicked against the introduction of a valuation reference price list for the clearing of goods by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Eddie Akrong, National President of GIFF, addressing the media in Tema, said the move by the Board of the GRA contradicted international trade laws, especially the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which Ghana was a signatory to.

Mr. Akrong indicated in a memo emanating from the Board of the GRA to the Customs Division that “no discounts, variations, or acceptance of values below the reference price list should be given on any item or product.”

He said, as a signatory, Ghana was bound by principles that advocated for fair and transparent valuation processes. He further added that the Customs Act, 2015 (ACT 891) clearly and unequivocally stated how valuation for goods should be done and what ought not to be done.

He explained that Sections 67 of the Customs Act outline in detail how goods should be valued, while Sections 68(3) also spell out that customs value shall not be determined on the basis of some things, including a minimum customs value.

“It is thus illegal to create a certain minimum value or reference price list for valuation purposes,” he stressed.

According to him, several importers have been saddled with the imposition of the valuation price list, even though they have provided all evidence of the genuineness of their values.

The GIFF President said all of these contributed to the high cost of doing business in Ghana’s ports and directly affected the cost of goods on the market, adding that the major effect of the policy was that it allowed importers to transfer funds illegally, having an economic effect on the country.

He urged the GRA to reconsider the policy to align with international standards and foster a conducive environment for trade.

Touching on the full implementation of the Interconnected System for the Management of Goods in Transit (SIGMAT), he said it was crucial to reassess and rectify policies that might inadvertently impede the efficiency of Ghana’s logistics and supply chain operations.

Mr. Akrong pointed out that some bottlenecks in the transit sector had been occasioned by the implementation of SIGMAT, which was causing extreme discomfort and escalating the cost of doing business at the points of entry.

He indicated that the description of goods by weight that were Ghana bound might suffer shrinkages due to dehydration, especially in the case of cowhide, explaining that there were no adjustment factors in the system and therefore they were deemed under-weighing.

He further said that under the SIGMAT, an error in counting and data capture from the originating country resulted in an invalidated process by the system in Ghana, noting that it could take days to resolve it at the cost of the trader as there were no standard processes in place for correcting such errors. – GNA