The Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in partnership with the GCNet is working to upgrade the warehousing module in the Ghana Customs Management System to provide automatic balances for warehoused and ex-warehoused goods.
The Division has requested the Presidential Task Force to provide information on the warehouses under its review to enable the division ascertain which goods are in the warehouses and the ones which have overstayed to make appropriate demands for payment of short collection.
Mr Isaac Apronti, Acting Commissioner of GRA Customs Division, said this on Monday at a press conference on bonded warehousing under the Suspense Regimes in Accra.
He said Suspense Regimes were customs processes whereby duty payment was deferred for the trader or the manufacturer until the goods involved were declared to clear for home-consumption, re-warehousing, export or re-export or used for further manufacturing process.
Mr Apronti explained that the main types of suspense regimes were the Free-Zone system, the Transit Trade, Temporary Importation and Bonded Warehousing. “Bonded Warehousing is a customs regime by which imported goods are stored in a bonded warehouse without the payment of import duty and other taxes on the goods at the entry point” he explained.
Mr Apronti said perishable goods might be re-warehoused for a limited period of one month upon application and approval by the Commissioner of Customs while raw materials are allowed to be re-warehoused for an additional period of one year.
He said in June 2013, the Division upon review of its risk management controls introduced a Task Force Team on Warehousing to conduct targeted audits of warehouses.
Mr Apronti said so far 56 warehouses had been examined and various levels of discrepancies had been detected adding that out of the 56 warehouses only two had been served demand notices for the revenue not collected and penalties imposed on the diverted goods.
He said in all GH˘ 71.14 million have been recovered from owners of goods who were served demand notices to pay for and clear the overstayed goods. Mr Apronti said in spite of the efforts, the Division was faced with difficulties including human resource where limited number of officers was available to control the numerous warehouses located in parts of the city and Tema.
He said the Division had instituted mechanisms such as an electronic tracking system to monitor the goods from the port of entry to the defined bonded warehouses to determine the quantity of goods that entered, those taken out or left un-cleared.
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