Parliament is set to put in place a regulatory framework for the importation of ‘second-hand’ and salvaged vehicles.
This is captured in the Customs Amendment Bill which is on the agenda of the house for consideration.
Speaking at an Encounter with the media, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, indicated that such a regime is necessary for the emerging automobile industry in the country where many global giants are setting up assembly plants to produce for domestic use.
Automobile giants like VW, Toyota, Renault and Nissan, have all expressed interest to set up assembly plants in Ghana, and the Majority Leader argued that the government in creating the enabling environment for these companies, will limit the ‘unfettered’ access to second-hand cars and salvaged vehicles.
“For a start, maybe we can ban the importation of second-hand cars which are more than 10 years-old and then also prevent the import of salvaged vehicles. These are vehicles that have been involved in accidents, floods and people will clean them up and bring them here. They are the reasons why we have so many accidents on our roads. So, it is intended to amend the customs bill to suit the circumstances.”
“We are not going to draw down the curtains overnight. We would suggest to ourselves that once the vehicle assembly plants start rolling out, we will give ourselves up to a period say six months and the law can be activated,” he noted.
Data available from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Customs Division, indicates that between 2005 and 2016, more than 1 million vehicles were imported into the country; representing an average of 100,000 cars per year.
Out of the total fleet of vehicles imported with the period under review, 80 percent are said to be secondhand vehicles.