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Business News Wed, 26 Sep 2007

Companies neglect payment of import duties

Accra, Sept. 26, GNA-It has been established that some custom warehouses, import firms and trading companies are neglecting the payment of import duties or not paying them promptly.

The records of Mr. Robert Raphael Hugh -Tagoe, Chief Collector in Charge of Accra Collection, exhibited at Wednesday's sitting of the Committee Investigating Operational indicated that Continental Commodity Trading Company (CCTC) paid 110,000 Ghana Cedis almost a year later, from 2003 to 2004.

Investigations by the Committee had revealed that at least eight companies are in huge arrears of a total of over 13, 000, 000 Ghana Cedis for some periods of the past four years.

The companies are the CCTC, Taj Investment, Sucatrade, Ramani, Silver Platter, Command Commodity, Mansell and Dry Food. Mr. Hugh Tagoe agreed in his evidence that goods should not be warehoused for more that two years, but added that they could be re-warehoused after two years when they brought to his attention that there were goods that had been warehoused for more than four year, spanning 2003 to 2007.

Committee Chairman, Mr. Justice Samuel Glenn Baddoo brought the attention of the hearing that its investigations had revealed that there were goods, supposed to be warehouse had been ex-warehoused without the import duty on them paid.

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The import duties were paid later after the marketing companies had paid sold their goods and in some cases after promptings from the CEPS. Records available to the Committee from a national data monitoring system, the Ghana Community Network, indicated a vast lapse from of goods that had been were still warehoused and that which were ware-housed.

From the records, the warehouses were supposed to be inundated with goods but in practice most of them had already been ex-warehouse, creating grounds to wonder goods pass from the warehouse into the market without the necessary import duties paid on them. The Committee observed that there was a lack of effective supervision and monitoring by CEPS officials of the process of taking good from the warehouses.

"When we visited the CCTC last week, we saw trucks were loading ....as customs officers were watching African movies", a Committee Member said.

Meanwhile, Mr Hugh-Tagoe has suggested that perishable goods should no longer be warehoused, and added that import that import duties on canned drinks should be paid upfront.

Source: GNA
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