The Upper East Regional command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has held its second quarter public tax education forum for selected stakeholders in Bolgatanga under the theme, “taxation; key to Ghana’s economic growth”.


Acting Upper East Sector Commander of Customs, Mr. Francis Tanlongo, said it was appropriate for his outfit to interface with stakeholders at regular intervals in order to expose the public to some of the activities of Customs such as systems and procedures of honouring tax obligations and payment of duties on specified goods and other merchandise that one may want to export or import.


He disclosed that the Bolgatanga Collection of the GRA Customs Division had been assigned a target of 9,900,000.00 Ghana Cedis for the year 2017. He noted that the target was a huge responsibility on him and his officers but pledged that the Division was poised to do everything to rake in the said revenue by close of year. He further noted that such meetings with the public would help the Division to assert its strengths and weaknesses as well as make amends and institute new measures to ensure optimal revenue performance.   


Mr. Tanlongo observed that Ghana as a middle income country had to rely on its own internal resources and capital markets to fund its developmental agenda. He added that “public expenditures on all sectors of the Ghanaian economy including education, health, agriculture, sports, industry and other infrastructure are all financed hugely from tax revenues collected in a given year”. He said taxation therefore played a central role in government’s efforts towards economic growth and that only an effective tax education campaign and collaboration among all stakeholders such as Customs and its sister agencies of state as well as the business community and the public, would improve revenue mobilisation for the state.  


The Customs Commander stated that Customs Operations were governed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the GRA Act 791 of 2009, the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) as well as  Customs Regulations, 1976 (LI 1060) and charged all members of the public whose cars and motorbikes had not yet been registered to quickly do so since his outfit would soon embark on operations to impound such vehicles.


Revenue Assistant III, Mr. Samuel Arthur, who also doubles as the Upper East Regional Focal Person of the GRA Customs Division, in his presentation on Temporary Vehicle Importation (TVI) disclosed that, an individual who intended to apply for TVI must undertake not to sell the vehicle, lease it or engage in any commercial activity using the vehicle in question within the visiting country, must not change the nature and form of the vehicle without approval of Customs and  must also not divert the vehicle by changing the number plate.


Officer Arthur also advised the public and business entities to feel free and visit the Customs offices any time and check with designated desk officers about the duties and taxes payable on specific goods or merchandise before exporting or importing so that they don’t get stranded in the process.


The stakeholders at the education forum included selected officers from the Ghana Police and the Immigration Services, the Ghana National Fire Service, staff from the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture among others.


Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)