GRA Reverses Benchmark Values Policy As OSP Probe Advances
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced the reversal of discretionary discounts on the free-on-board (FOB) value of goods and home delivery value (HDV) of vehicles imported into the country.
The new intervention which scraps all avenues for custom officers to grant a markdown of benchmark value takes effect in January 2023.
This was announced by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in a press statement.
The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng in the statement communicated satisfaction with the measure.
The measure comes as a wider investigation into the issuance of Customs advance rulings and markdowns by the OSP advances.
The investigations cover rulings issued between July 2017 and December 2021.
This move by the OSP followed the retrieval of an amount of GHC1,074,627.15 from Labianca Company Limited- a company into the importation of frozen chicken parts, fish, pork, and fries primarily from Europe and the United States of America- owned by a Council of State member who is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ms Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.
The amount, the OSP indicated, represents a shortfall in revenue arising from the issuance of an “unlawful customs advance ruling to Labianca by the Deputy Commissioner for Customs in charge of operations, Mr Joseph Adu Kyei”.
According to the findings of the OSP, there was strong evidence of influence peddling by Labianca in securing the markdown of 10%-15% benchmark values for its imports.
With the reversal of FOB value and HDV, the SP is confident that corruption and corruption-related activities will be removed.
In spite of the new policy, the investigations of the Office into the already issued benchmark values for vehicles and other goods by the Authority will continue.
At the same time, the OSP says it will monitor the implementation of the new policy.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini