The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has expressed deep concern regarding recent developments at the country’s ports.
The government, through the Veterinary Services Department (VSD), has introduced a levy that could have negative implications for importers and the broader business community.
The Association has contended that the government’s decision to implement the Veterinary Import levy lacks careful consideration.
A memo from the Veterinary Services Department, which has circulated widely, instructs importers of frozen products to undergo a registration process with the VSD.
This process includes applying for import approval by providing details such as product quantity and country of origin.
Furthermore, importers are required to submit consignment documents through the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) to the VDS director for verification.
This move has raised concerns within the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, as they fear that it may have adverse consequences for their operations and the business community as a whole.
Find the MEMO below:
The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has been saddened by new developments at the country’s Ports, where the government through the Veterinary Services Department has introduced an obnoxious levy that could further hurt Importers and the business community as a whole.
The Association believes the decision by the government through the Veterinary Services Department to introduce the Vertinary Import levy was not thought through carefully.
A memo from the Veterinary Services department which has since been in circulation directing importers of frozen products to first register with the VSD, and apply for import approval by writing to the SVD director by stating the quantity, and country of origin of the product. Afterward, Importers must also submit consignment documents through the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) to the VDS director for verification.
After all this stress the worrying part of this obnoxious levy is that Importers of frozen products will be made to pay between 2,500 to 2,800 for each container of frozen food depending on the quantity. Again Importers will be charged 200ghc as an inspection fee, and 500ghc for lab tests. This means an importer of frozen food will be paying almost 4000ghc to the VSD under the new veterinary import levy.
This means if an importer of frozen foods is importing 20 containers, he or she must be ready to pay 80,000ghc as a Veterinary Import Levy aside from the existing draconian port duties, taxes, and levies that have become an albatross and a threat to local Importers and the business community.
Ironically, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has been running these tests and inspections at a cost of almost 2,000ghc.
So the question here is why is the government of Ghana and the Veterinary Services Department charging Importers of frozen food almost 4000ghc for a service that the FDA was rendering at a cheaper rate?
Is the Nana Addo-led government through its finance minister, the GRA, and the Veterinary Services Department trying to tell Importers that, the FDA has become ineffective in the discharge of their duties or this is part of a grand scheme by the government to meet its revenue target at the detriment of Importers and the business community?
Bear in mind, that Importers will have no other reason than to pass the cost they will incur from this new levy onto consumers, which could see the prices of goods and services skyrocketing to an unprecedented higher rate.
We once again call on the government to as a matter of urgency scrap this levy, since it has no basis for improving the already dying maritime industry.
Samson Asaki Awingobit