The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is hopeful that discussions with the government could lead to a reduction in import duties.
It has been years since GUTA pressed home concerns regarding high import duties which according to the traders, have made clearing goods at the country’s ports a nightmare.
President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng has called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, expedite action on the concerns for lower import duties and also ensure that there is broad stakeholder participation.
“Traders and businesses alike are all raising concerns over high import duties. We know government rakes in revenue from this trend but to what end could this be efficient when the risk for under-declaring is also high,” he stated.
Meanwhile, The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is calling for the repeal of laws on retail trade in the country – saying they have been ineffective over the past years. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 Section 27 bars foreigners from engaging in retail business or trade. But cases of the infiltration of the retail space by foreigners have questioned the effectiveness of this law.
Ghana’s retail law spells out clear guidelines on foreigner’s engagement in the retail space. GUTA has implored the government to enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 section 27, which bars foreigners from engaging in retail business or trade. President for GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng says it’s either the laws are respected or scrapped.
To this end, GUTA has demanded the implementation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC’s) law on protecting local enterprises as the Centre works to review aspects of its laws. According to Dr Joseph Obeng, the development has been given little attention over the years, has affected local businesses adversely.
Per Section 27 of the GIPC Act 865, “A person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen, shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place,”
Other areas highlighted include; the operation of taxis or car hire service in an enterprise that has a fleet of fewer than 25 vehicles, the operation of a beauty salon or a barbershop as well as the printing of recharge scratch cards for the use of subscribers of telecommunication services.