Wed, 29 May 2024 Business & Finance

Ghana loses GH₵264million annually to illegal plastic sales by free zones companies

  Wed, 29 May 2024
Ghana loses GH264million annually to illegal plastic sales by free zones companies

Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association has raised serious allegations against certain Free Zones Companies, claiming that their illegal practices are causing significant revenue losses to the government.

According to the association, approximately 12 of the 166 plastic manufacturing companies in Ghana are registered under the Free Zones Enterprise.

These companies are allegedly importing plastic raw materials duty-free and then selling them illegally on the local market, thereby avoiding import duties.

The plastic manufacturers association claims that this practice has led to the government losing about GH₵22 million per month, amounting to about GH₵ 264 million annually.

President of the Plastic Manufacturers Association, Ebbo Botwe in an interview with Citi News expressed frustration over the lack of response from the authorities.

“One sad part of this tax is that in Ghana currently, we have about 166 plastic manufacturing companies and out of this, just about 12 of them are Free Zones Enterprise registered. Some of these 12 registered Free Zone Companies, are importing plastic raw materials and illegally selling them on the open local market, thereby causing the government to lose millions and millions in revenue, by way of avoiding payment of import duties – thus depriving the government of the needed revenue. Free Zone Companies are exempted from paying import duties.”

“Eighteen months ago, we reported this situation to the Commissioner General of Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade & Industries and the Ghana Free Zones Authority but this illegal business continues.

“It is estimated that the government is losing approximately GHC 22.05 million per month or GHS 264.6 million annually through these illegal activities. This is a serious revenue leakage and we believe we have given enough information to the government to help stop this practice but instead, here we are saddled with yet another new tax.”

Meanwhile, the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) in a press release said it has already initiated monitoring and spot checks of the production sites and is “in the process of producing its first report on the impact of the measures by the third quarter of the year.”