Parliament has adopted and approved the Joint Committees on Finance, Trade and Industry and Tourism report for amendments to be made in the Customs Act, 2015.
The Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to amend the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme (GAMDP).
It will prohibit the importation of salvaged motor vehicles comprising wrecked, destroyed, or physically damaged by collision, fire, water or other occurrences as well as specified motor vehicles over 10 years of age into the country.
The Bill will also increase the import duty on specific motor vehicles and provide import duty exemptions for the security agencies and officers of the security agencies especially those who go on various assignments and peacekeeping in the security interest of Ghana.
The approval of the report came after a motion on the report was moved by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, and seconded by the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah.
The Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was referred the joint committees on Finance, Trade, Industry and Tourism for consideration and report in accordance with Article 174 of the Constitution and Orders 159 and 169 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
The government, in August 2019, launched the GAMDP to promote the manufacture of automobiles for both domestic market and the West Africa sub-region.
The programme is part of the efforts by the government to develop some strategic anchor industries that will promote economic development in the country. The report said the committee observed that Cabinet had already approved the Ghana Automotive Development Policy in which various incentives had been provided for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the GAMDP.
Speaking to the press, Abena emphasised that move was not targetting second vehicle dealers but rather preventing discarded vehicles on our roads.
The Deputy Minister said the rationale for the bill was to enable the manufacturers and assemblers to attain certain critical volumes while ensuring that prices were cheaper.
According to the report, Volkswagen would start its operation in the first quarter of 2020, Toyota in August 2020, Suzuki before the end of 2020, Nissan second quarter of 2020, while discussion pertaining to the operations of Renault, Kia and Hyundai were ongoing.