Source: GNA - The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has expressed dismay over the continuous abuse of temporary importation permit granted to citizens in the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) countries.
Mr. Maxwell Ohemeng, a Senior Revenue Collecting Officer at the Customs Division of GRA, told the Ghana News Agency, on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting in Takoradi, that the law permitted ECOWAS citizens to enter Ghana with their private vehicles to transact businesses for a period of three months without paying any duties on them.
"However, some unscrupulous persons have taken advantage of the system to enter the country with vehicles and sold them cheaper to innocent buyers before the three months period," he added.
Mr Ohemeng noted that since such vehicles were not customized, and lacked the relevant documentation, they ended up being seized by officials of GRA and those who purchased those vehicles often bore the brunt of paying penalty, as well as duties..
Mr Ohemeng therefore urged prospective vehicle buyers to conduct thorough checks with the GRA, to establish the ownership and authenticity of the documents covering any vehicle before purchase, to avert being defrauded.
He noted that those vehicles often bore foreign number plates, however, people who have the intention to defraud others often changed the number plates into fictitious local plates and succeeded in selling them.
The Officer also lamented about the country’s porous entry points and advocated the need to strengthen the borders to ward off such vehicles from entering the country.
Mr. Ohemeng advised importers to avoid importing vehicles that were over ten years old in view of the high duties and penalties they attract on them.
He said the Customs Division of the GRA has been working with INTERPOL to track stolen vehicles and assured the public that those who provided vital information to the security agencies would be rewarded.
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