50% benchmark value reversal: All you need to know

The government's policy directive on the reversal of the reduction of values of imports on 43 selected items took effect on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, amidst opposition from the trade unions in the country.

Ghana Freight Forwarders

The Ghana Revenue Authority, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will ensure the directive of the 50% benchmark value reversal of import goods.

Trade unions in the country have called on the government that its decision to reverse the 50% benchmark value at the ports could adversely affect businesses.

The reversal will affect selected items from all the three categories on which the reversal was applied.

These are:

  • The home delivery value of vehicles
  • Goods on which benchmark values are applied
  • All other goods

The items to be affected include the home delivery value of vehicles, goods on which benchmark values are applied, and all other goods.

The government in 2019 introduced the benchmark policy in accordance with the World Customs Organisation's policy of regular review of valuation database. Under this policy, certain commodities are benchmarked to the prevailing world prices as a risk management tool, to reflect the true market dynamics of these commodities. It also takes into consideration factors such as protection of health, the environment, and security as well as protection of local industries.

In line with the reversal, series of engagements have been had with relevant stakeholders with the aim of reaching a consensus on the implementation of the policy.

In all 43 items on the list have been affected by the review.

This means the Home Delivery Value of vehicles will no longer be discounted by 30% and the full value shall apply without any reduction for all other goods, where the importer has an invoice for which the value is higher or lower than the established Transaction Price Database.

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG), Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and the various trade unions warned of dire economic consequences ahead of the reversal of benchmark value on imports.

The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders also protested over attempts by the government to retrospectively apply the restored benchmark value.

According to the associations, freights processed prior to the scrapping of, the benchmark value policy, which took effect today, have been denied access to their goods and are being asked to re-enter and re-valuate their goods.

This the associations noted will impose real hardships on importers as they will exceed their budgets.

GUTA on its part has asked the government to hold on with implementing the reversal of the benchmark value policy.

They further contend that the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still prevalent and even in its fourth wave, which is worsening the situation.

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