It has been widely reported that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority will not allow into the country, importation of cars that have been defined according to the Customs Amendment Act 2020 as salvaged or do not have clean title by the 1st of November, 2020.
Following extensive conversation about the subject on Eye on Port and other outlets, some stakeholder groups raised red flags on aspects of the law describing it as vague and harsh which when allowed to be implemented will negatively impact their jobs and eventually their livelihoods.
Subsequently, the President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo invited the stakeholder groups to listen to them and subsequently charged the Ministry of Trade and Industry to lead deliberations to address all concerns with Minister of Trade as the Chair and the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo represented.
The Stakeholder Associations confirmed that the President, had communicated that as an executive, he does not have the power within the laws of Ghana to set aside an Act passed by Parliament of Ghana and therefore all issues must be considered with the Ministry of Trade and Industries.
Speaking on Eye on Port, the various stakeholders who were present at the committee meeting including members of the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana (ADUG), Vehicle and Assets Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG), Abossey Okai Spare Part Dealers Association and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) explained that it had been concluded that the law be implemented as stipulated by the Customs (Amendment) Act 2020 so that following implementation, if challenges emerge, they will be addressed.
“It was concluded that, since it is a law Parliament has been passed by Parliament and assented by the President, it must be implemented, so after implementation, if there are still challenges bothering our businesses, then the issues can be worked on”. Eric Boateng, President of Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana (ADUG)
All the stakeholder groups were in favour of the conclusion by the committee led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the effect that the law be implemented as stipulated, by the Act of Parliament except members of VADUG.
The Vehicle and Assets Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG) insisted on their earlier position that, the definition of salvage remains vague and the requirement of clean title is extremely strict.
“After the meeting, it came to the conclusion that the preconceived conclusion that had earlier on been made came to bear.”
The VADUG members explained that their members import significant amount of salvaged vehicles which has great ripple effect on the bigger value chain and therefore government must exercise caution in implementing the law that seeks to ban its importation.
However, the other stakeholders including the Abbosey Okai Spare parts dealers believe the alternatives to the ban on the salvaged vehicles are adequate to keep their members in business, they maintained that the country has come of age to embrace such a policy.
“The fact that salvaged and overaged vehicles cannot be brought into Ghana does not mean that, other cars that are not salvaged and under 10 years of age cannot be brought in.” Clement Boateng the Co-Chairman of the Abbosey Okai Spare Prats Dealers Association quizzed.