The Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana is appealing to government to reconsider certain aspects of the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which bans the importation of second hand cars of more than ten years old, as well as salvage cars, locally referred to as ‘accident cars.
A statement released by government on Wednesday, indicated that the law will take effect from October this year.
But the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana says the law in its current state will create massive unemployment among its members in two years.
The General Secretary of the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana, Clifford Ansu, spoke to Citi Business News.
“If we allow this law to work, it means that in two years there will not be any car dealer. And lots of people are going to be rendered jobless as government has not even provided any alternatives for anybody in this country. So why have we accepted this law to work? We spoke to some of our neighbours. We went all over this country to sensitize the people to let them know the meaning of this thing and the effect it will have on them and our businesses as well. But like I have said, because of this disease, we have all kept quiet. So if they are saying that this law is coming into effect in October, they should position themselves very well. We are not going to accept that,” he said.
Prior to Parliament’s approval of the bill, the Minority in Parliament had opposed portions of it particularly on the grounds of job losses.
Also, the Automobile Dealers Union Ghana (ADUG), had called on government to hold broader consultations with all stakeholders in the automobile industry before approving the bill.
The amendment is part of a plan towards the implementation of the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Programme, which has so far attracted several global car assembly plants into the country.
The law seeks to also provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers, registered under the Ghana Manufacturing Development Programme.
Gov’t justifies plan to ban imported ‘accident vehicles’ and over 10-year old cars
Government, earlier this year, justified the decision.
Currently, there are penalties for over-aged cars ranging between 5% and 100% of the total cost, insurance and freight of an imported car, between 10 years, and those over 35 years at the country’s ports.
But, the proposal which is part of the Customs Amendment Bill, 2020, was passed on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, and assented by the President on April 30, 2020.
Government has predicted an estimated revenue loss of GHS802 million over the next three years after the review of the policy.
This is however expected to be partially offset by the additional revenue from customs duties on vehicles not covered by the programme, according to the joint report of the joint committee on Finance and Trade, Industry and Tourism.