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Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020 read the second time

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Ghana has begun the process to ban importation of certain vehicles into the country as Parliament has taken the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020 through the second reading on Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020.

In line with Clause 13 of Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 119 of The Standing Orders of Parliament, joint committee of Finance and Trade, Industry and Tourism certified that, the bill was of an urgent nature and therefore was to be taken through all the stages of passage in one day, the Report suggested.

When the Bill is passed into Act, motor vehicles over ten years of age shall be eventually prohibited from being imported into the country.

Also, the importation of salvaged vehicles shall be banned regardless of the age, type or description of such vehicles.

The Act explains that a salvage vehicle for the purpose of the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme, is a motor vehicle which has been wrecked, destroyed, or physically damaged by collision, fire, water or other occurrence and does not have a clean titie.

The Committee noted that “vehicle manufacturers or assemblers registered under the
Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme (GAMDP) shalt be permitted to import Fully Built Units (FBUs) of vehicles into the country at rebate of
Customs Duty”.

The explanation was given that, the rationale for the rebate is to enable the manufacturers and assemblers to attain certain critical volumes to make their investments worthwhile, especially at the early stages of the industry. The rebate policy is to be reviewed during or after three (3) years of the GAMDP.

The Bill seeks to amend the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme (GAMDP), prohibit the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and specified motor vehicles over ten years of age into the country, increase the import duty on specific motor vehicles and provide import duty exemptions
for the security agencies and officers of the security agencies.

The contents of the Bill

Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020 contains seven (7) clauses.

Clause 1 amends section 55 of Act 891 by granting a rebate on the import duty on fully built units imported by automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the programme.

Clause 2 amends section 58 of Act 891 to prohibit the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and specitied motor vehicle over ten years of age into the country.

Clause 3 amends section 61 of Act 891 to provide for the submission of a homologation documentation or certificate of conformance provided by the Standards Authority as an additional requirement that a local dealer in the importation of a motor vehicle permitted underAct 891 is required to furnish the Commissioner-General with.

Clause 4 amends section 151 of Act 891 to provide definitions for “completely knocked down kit’, “enhanced semi-knocked down kit’, “salvaged motor vehicle” and “semiknocked down kit’.

Clause 5 empowers the Minister responsible for Finance to issue an Executive instrument specifying the date on which the import duty imposed on motor vehicles indicated under headings 870.03 to 87.04 of Chapter 87 of Section VXII of me First Schedule to Act 891 is required to come into force. The Minister is further empowered to issue an Executive instrument specifying the date on which a motor vehicle over ten years of age may not be imported into the country.

Background

The Government of Ghana in August 2019 launched the Ghana Automotive
Manufacturing Development Programme to promote the manufacture of automobiles for both the domestic market and the West African sub-region.

The Programme is part of the efforts by Government to develop some strategic anchor industries that will promote economic development in the country.

Government also proposes to establish import duty exemptions regime for the security agencies and oflicers of the security agencies.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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