Automobile Dealers Union To Hit the Streets Despite Covid-19 Pandemic Over Customs Amendment Bill

The Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana (ADUG) has kicked against moves by the government to ban the importation of second-hand and salvaged vehicles into the country.

Government has completed the Customs Amendment Bill, which, among others, when passed into law would stop the importation of over aged and salvaged vehicles to be imported into the country.

It is in connection with the policy of government to partner big international automobile firms VW, Volvo, Peugeot, Toyota, Sinotrucks, among others, to assemble vehicles in Ghana.

The Association is therefore calling on government to repeal this Customs Amendment Bill within two weeks or they will hit the streets despite the Coronavirus pandemic to save their business.

Addressing a news conference on the ban of importation of over aged and salvaged vehicles, the National President of ADUG, Erick Kweku Boateng, said the ban on second-hand vehicles in the country would make more than two million people in the automobile industry to lose their jobs.

“ADUG is not against the policy of government to assemble in Ghana, but we players in the second-hand vehicle industry want to know what is in the policy for us,” Mr Boateng stated.

He observed that the ban on importation of second-hand vehicles would affect government revenue generation, and also affect players in the insurance and spare parts industries, adding that the ban would affect the public because it was not every individual who could afford a new vehicle.

The Association though commended the government’s efforts and initiatives for bringing the Automobile giants manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, Sino Truck, Renault, VW and others into the country to establish their outlets, that will open the economy and help boost the economy.

But they realized that Clause one (1) which seeks to give tax holiday or rebate to the registered assemblers or manufacturers under the Automotive development program on fully built units vehicles should be extanded to all.

According to Mr. Kweku Boateng, section 55 of Act 891, stated that if manufacturer or Assembler imports Toyota Land Cruiser V8 into the country under the program, this Act or Law grants the duty payable on it as free. ” But if a local dealer imports the same vehicle you need to pay plus 35% on the duty payable. “

The National Secretary of ADUG, Clifford Ansu for his part said the transport industry, largely depended on second-hand vehicles, and any move to kill the industry would have serious repercussions on the economy.

He said most trotro operators were using second-hand vehicles and it was second-hand vehicles which were used to cart foodstuffs from the hinterlands to the city.

The Greater Accra Chairman of ADUG, Eddie Kusi Ankomah said the ban on the importation of over aged and salvaged vehicles would collapse the businesses of second-hand car dealers in the country.

According to him, we have a lot of cars that are even more than Forty (40) to Fifty (50) years, but they are still allowed to be driven on our roads,” he intimated.

The Customs Amendment Bill was passed on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the second reading stage in Parliament.

Per the Bill, the government will stop the importation of used vehicles that are older than 10 years and salvaged cars. However, the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana finds this decision unfair and calling on government to look at it again.

Report by Benard K Dadzie

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