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23.10.2007 Business & Finance

CEPS Urged To Ensure Importers Pay Rescheduled Duties


Members of Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Monday urged personnel of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to ensure importers pay rescheduled import duties.

They therefore directed management of CEPS to retrieve monies and surcharge 23 individuals and organisations that had defaulted despite being reminded by CEPS.

The members made the call during public hearing in Accra on
the Auditor General's Report for 2004.

The report said between September 1994 and June 2003, 12 individuals and 11 organisations imported vehicles and goods and expected to pay import duties totalling three billion Ghana cedis (three trillion cedis), which they could not make full payments.

It said upon applications to CEPS, payments were rescheduled for periods ranging between two and six months but CEPS failed to sanction them after the stipulated 14 days to pay and more than 250 million Ghana cedis (2.5 trillion cedis) remained outstanding as at 2004.

The Report said in spite of the requirement for the Customs Bill of Entry to be processed within 10 days after every month to enable payment of appropriate import duties and taxes on raw materials, no registers were maintained for the export and local sales by CEPS resident officers from January 2003 to September 2004.

It said as a result of the absence of any Bill of Entry by resident officers on raw materials for the necessary duties and taxes to be levied, there was no compliance of duties and taxes with regard to bond and manufacturing with outstanding duties of 92, 490,000 Ghana cedis (924.9 billion cedis).

The report said this was due to weak supervision by management over resident officers.

It said there was in addition, a stock loss of 83,200,000 Ghana cedis (8.32 billion cedis) at GIHOC Distilleries Company, between January 1994 to November 2004.

The report said outstanding transit goods, which were not recorded totalled more than six billion Ghana cedis (six trillion cedis).

It said Mr Maliki Husseini, in-charge of Bolgatanga Collection of CEPS allegedly embezzled 42,570 Ghana cedis (425.7 million cedis) in 2005 and was now at large.

Mr Emmanuel Doku, Commissioner of CEPS answering questions, said management of CEPS had begun a process to recover from guarantors all the duties owed.

He said in addition, management was using a satellite system to track down the movement of vehicles and monitor the transit of costumed goods.

Mr Doku identified communication as a problem but pledged to collaborate with other countries in the West African Sub- Region to improve monitoring.

He announced that goods would now be insured and insurance companies asked to pay for their clients who default in payment of duties and taxes.