Business News of 2014-01-17

Tema GRA strategises to meet 2014 revenue target

The Tema Collection of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) collected GH¢4.22 billion, representing 94.21 per cent, of its revenue target of GH¢4.8 billion for 2013.
This year, the collection has been given a revenue target of GH¢5.408 billion, an increase of about GH¢928 million over last year’s target.
The Tema Collection Commander of the Customs Division of the GRA, Assistant Commissioner (Mr) John Vianney Kuudamnuru, made that known during a media interaction in Tema.
Mr Kuudamnuru said in order to meet its revenue target for 2014, the collection had put in place pragmatic and operational measures and strategies to enhance its performance.
He said, “taking into consideration the economic situation in 2013 globally and also the 2012 election petition, we believe the effort was quite rewarding. Even though the volumes of imports that came into the country in 2013 were far lower than those that came in 2012, we were able to collect about GH¢619 million in excess of what we collected in 2012.”
Strategy to improve performance
He said the Tema Collection had initiated new strategies which had been put in place since September 2013 to increase revenue, and added that it had started yielding positive results. As part of that strategy, only goods with duties fully paid would be permitted to leave the ports.
“Any cargo whose duty has not been fully paid will be stopped from leaving the ports until such a time that the importer settles whatever difference is left,” he said
The assistant commissioner also indicated that a series of refresher programmes and courses had been outlined for all categories of staff to ensure that their skills were sharpened to be abreast of all the intricacies of events to help them contribute significantly to improving the tax revenue at the ports.
Bonded warehouse
Mr Kuudamnuru said customs was monitoring all bonded warehouses to ensure that all overstayed goods or cargo were auctioned and also transit goods left the country so that they were not diverted into the Ghanaian economy.
He indicated that the Compliance Unit of the Customs Division had also been revamped to ensure that only relevant documents were permitted into the system for the easy processing and clearing of goods.
Mr Kuudamnuru warned that the use of false or fake documents by importers, clearing agents, customs officers in the clearance of goods from the ports constituted an offence under the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Act, PNDCL 330 of 1993 and reminded all stakeholders to take note.
He said for false declaration, a person could incur a penalty not exceeding three times the amount involved, in addition to the forfeiture of the goods.
Also, the offending person would be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.