Reversal of Benchmark values: Importers and Exporters Association threatens to sue government

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The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has questioned the legality of government’s decision to reverse the reduction of benchmark values on select imported goods.

Under the policy, certain general goods were reduced by 50% and vehicles by 30%. However, this discount has been reversed following an announcement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta during his presentation of the 2022 budget.

But speaking to MX24 News, Executive Secretary of the association, Sampson Asaki Awingobit opined that the announcement of the reversal in parliament is illegal since there is no law backing it.

The association is therefore threatening to challenge government’s reversal of the policy in court.

“It is important that we have to do that [go to court] because you remember when the Vice President wanted to introduce the benchmark values, they did not go to Parliament for it, I see no reason why now that you want to take it away you say you’re going to Parliament. You did not go to Parliament when you were doing the benchmark values now you’re going to Parliament? There is no law they can point to on which they are going to Parliament.”

“It is either you amend it or you strike it out or go to the Supreme court. For us, I strongly believe that it is illegal and it continuous to be illegal and that’s why it was announced illegally and it continuous to be taken off illegally,” he noted.

Mr. Awingobit also disclosed that all importers and clearing agents who entered their Bill of Entry (BOE) before the implementation of the reversal have been given the opportunity to clear their goods using the old benchmark values.

This follows the GRA’s deferment of the implementation of the reversal to January 6.

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