Alhaji Ibrahim Isahaku, Chief Revenue Officer, Brong-Ahafo Regional Command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on Tuesday said it had intensified patrols to impound all uncustomed vehicles in the country.
However, he advised the general public to be wary of car smuggling syndicates and verify from the Customs Division the authenticity and validity of vehicles before they purchased them.
Alhaji Isahaku announced this at a sensitization forum on activities of destination inspection companies and processes at Abesim near Sunyani.
It was organized by Gateway Services Limited (GSL), a leading destination inspection company mandated by the government to offer destination inspection services in the country.
The forum to educate the participants on the latest formulated innovations to accelerate the processing of import documents was attended by importers and agents, and exporters and shippers.
Destination inspection is the inspection of imports at the ports for clearance and introduced in Ghana in April 2000 to replace pre-shipment inspection (inspection of imports before shipment from the country of supply).
Alhaji Isahaku noted that most of the vehicles temporarily imported into the country under the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Protocol on movement of vehicles, which had overstayed their permit are still uncustomed.
He explained that importers of those vehicles had deliberately refused to return with such vehicles as required by law and forged their chassis numbers and faked documents to cover them.
Alhaji Isahaku said the Command had confiscated most of such vehicles and waiting for directives from its headquarters in Accra to auction them.
He announced that the Command would soon mount check points, snap checks and conduct swoops, foot and mobile patrols at strategic locations to check smuggling.
Mrs Amma Addo, Corporate Services Manager, GSL explained that the forum was the third in the series of regional fora being organized in the country.
She said in line with GSL’s objectives of making global trade flow smoother and safer, it had developed and implemented modern and efficient tools such as X-ray scanners, developed computerized risk management system and a transaction price database for rapid verification of imports.
Mrs Addo reiterated GSL’s continued commitment to play a meaningful role in the import trade and advised the participants to ensure that they complied with all laid down procedures and requirements to ensure that their goods were not banned or confiscated.
Alhaji Mohammed Nasirudeen, Brong-Ahafo Regional Commander of the Customs Division of GRA, said the Command continued to receive complaints from importers and agents about the cumbersome manner of tax payment and administration at all levels.
He said in spite of all these and some challenges in the tax net, it was constitutionally mandated for traders to pay tax and warned that defaulters would be prosecuted.