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Car dealers call off planned demonstration against Customs Amendment Act

A planned protest by the Coalition of Car and Spare Parts Dealers within Tema, Spintex, and Ashaiman against government’s Customs Amendment Act has been cancelled, the group has announced.

The group had scheduled its demonstration for Thursday, August 27, 2020.

But in a statement announcing the change in plan, the group said the decision had become necessary after a meeting was convened by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng.

The meeting, according to the coalition was attended by the Commissioner and Senior Officials of the Customs Division of GRA, the Director-General of Ghana Standards Authority and Representatives of the Coalition as well as the leadership of Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana (ADUG) and Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association.

In March this year, Parliament unanimously passed the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020 after it was read on the floor of the House for the third time.

READ: ‘Reverse Decision To Ban Salvaged Cars, It Will Affect NPP’s Electoral Fortunes’

The objective of the Bill is to amend the Customs Act, 2015 (ACR 891) to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme, prohibit the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and specific vehicles over ten years old into the country.

The group argued that the Bill would affect the livelihood of its members.

However, in its August 26 statement, the Coalition said it had received assurance from the Trades Minister and the Commissioner of Customs that “their concerns will be addressed during the implementation of the Customs Amendment Act, 2020 and that further consultations will be held in defining the detailed implementation modalities of the Act”.

“The Coalition wishes to give full assurance to all its members that they will continue to engage with Government to ensure that their businesses and livelihoods are protected in the implementation of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy,” the statement signed by Secretary of the Tema Car Dealers Association, Kofi Asamoah concluded.

The passage of the Customs Amendment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday means the government will prevent anyone from importing used vehicles that are older than 10 years.

The government will also place a total ban on the import of salvaged cars, also known as accident cars.

Cost to economy

According to the joint report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Trade, Industry and Tourism, the government has predicted an estimated revenue loss of GHc 802 million over the next three years.

The loss will be from import revenue the GRA projects the state will lose from the ban on the importation of such vehicles.

The review of the policy is in line with the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme.

The amendment is to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Manufacturing Development Programme.

A clause in the amendment empowers the Minister of Finance to specify the date on which the ban will come into place.

Automotive policy

The strategic objectives of the policy to establish a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for automotive manufacturing in collaboration with the private sector.

It is also expected to generate highly skilled jobs in automotive assembly and the manufacture of components and parts, with spillover effects into other sectors of the economy.

The policy will help establish an asset-based vehicle financing scheme for locally manufactured vehicles to ensure affordability for vehicle buyers.

 

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