The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana Mr. Sampson Asaki Awingobit on Plan B FM morning show NKOSUONSEM, has advised importers and exporters to demand all their requisite documents from their agents at the port whenever they clear their goods from the port.
He told Nana Yaw Abrompah that, some shipping lines and companies for continuous patronage of their services, reduce some charges for importers and exporters which may contribute to what the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA termed as connivance with the authorities to under-declare.
The Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA – Customs Division has noted with great concern an emerging practice where some declarants or clearing agents connive with some shipping lines to falsify information on trade documents such as Manifest and bill of lading and sometimes misdescribe the goods to obtain priority clearance, leading to the payment of lesser duties and taxes.
The Division in February this year acted on intelligence on two companies and importers that had dotted their bills of lading in clearing goods from the Tema Port.
The goods were targeted and intercepted for physical examination.
The physical examination results indicated that the descriptions of goods on the Bill of Entry (BOE) are different from the physical goods found in the container.
The actual description of the consignments were footwear, bags, belts, underwear, and galvanized pipes, as against the entered description of Knapsack Sprayer.
In an interview, Commissioner of Customs, Alhassan Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah, said following the revelation, Management tasked Internal Audit as well as the Post Clearance Audit Department to conduct audits on the identified agents and importers.
It was revealed through the audit that twenty BOEs had their entries dotted.
Alhaji Iddrisu Iddisah indicated that while demand notices have been issued for retrieving the taxes and penalties lost to the state, investigations are ongoing to prosecute the culprits.