Commissioner, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Col. Rtd. Kwadwo Damoah has disclosed that Customs Division could have raised more revenue in the year 2020 if revenue leakages were blocked.
According to him, if all aspects and regimes of customs and all frontiers were closely guarded to the extent that there were no possibility of smuggling then the Custom Division would have exceeded its revenue target.
“Once one person smuggles any item that’s a leakage and we all know that the borders are so porous such that there are places that are not accessible by way of using vehicles. There are places that you use mono bicycles, there are places that people by foot are able to evade the system so all those would impact so once you are talking about total, total means by land, sea and air so even if there is one leakage by land it affects the total possibility,” he told Joy News.
He added, “if everything should work as the system has it then all may not be lost” in terms of meeting the target of 2021.
He further indicated that Customs could have had more revenue if they were able to have an effective post clearance audit within 2020.
“It may not be possible to have effective post clearance audit with all transactions within a financial year and you are talking about 2020, so did any audit go into 2020, it means casting your mind back in 2020 we could have had more if we had been able to do the post clearance audit within 2020.”
Mr Damoah noted that a lot of audit activities were suspended because GRA had to subscribe to a physical post clearance audit as a result of COVID-19.
“Last year because of COVID-19, we had to suspend a lot of audit activities because it meant sending teams and the aim was as much as possible to use electronic means to do things, we were not able to a lot of the physical post clearance audit.
“It had to be virtual using the same document that we used to clear the goods so if we’re not able to have the opportunity to clear physically to check and compare with what we have by way of documentation then we still risk not realising the maximum revenue from these transactions,” he stated.