Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) personnel have been asked to raise awareness of the populace on tax incentives in government fiscal policy for 2006. This would enable companies and individuals to access these facilities so the intended social and economic fallouts from the policies could be attained.
Mr Paul Adubofuor, Deputy Commissioner in charge of Administration and Human Resources, made the call at the passing out parade of 67 already serving officers of CEPS, after a six-week paramilitary training at the CEPS Academy at Agortime-Kpetoe in the Adaklu-Anyigbe District of the Volta Region.
He mentioned some of the tax incentives and amnesties as the abolition of the five per cent concessionary import duty rate on essential inputs for the local textile industries and tax amnesty for persons, who make voluntary disclosure to CEPS among others.
The graduating officers, who were mainly sports personnel of the service comprised 43 males and 24 females, treated subjects and exercises such as customs laws and regimes, communication procedures, customer care and work ethics, weapon training and foot drills.
Mr Adobofuor charged the officers to use the training they had had to confront the abuses of under invoicing, mis-description of goods and concealment of items in all forms to under declaration the quantities for payment of duty. He said other areas that abuses often occurred were temporary importation of vehicles, warehousing, trans-shipment and re-importation.
Mr Adobofuor asked them to deal with their clients with respect and comport themselves properly in communities they served in. "Balance service delivery with utmost diplomacy within your communities, particularly towards chiefs and people along our border towns and our numerous stakeholders," he stated, adding that, they were the "number one public relations officers of the Service".
Mr Adobofour said the training programmes of CEPS were to meet challenges of national and global security, as reflected in the Service's linkages with other customs administrations. He said the World Customs Organisation and the government of Liberia to which it is extending technical assistance in the development of relevant customs procedures had lauded professionalism of customs in Ghana.
Five graduating officers were awarded for excellence in various subjects, with the Junior Collecting Assistant (JCA) VI Belinda Tawiah, winning the Best Female Trainee Award and JCA V Frank Sadiq, winning the Best All Round Trainee.