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Over 200 new products affected by CET

Container boxes are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai

Photographers, non-alcoholic beer importers and as well as vehicle owners will from March 1, 2018 be affected by the ECOWAS Common External tariff (CET).

This means importers of such goods will be made to pay approved tariffs at the ports before being allowed to clear their goods.

The move follows a review of the Harmonisation Systems for the CET.

The Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Seidu Yakubu who disclosed this to Citi Business News said that the new products henceforth covered have also been as a result of the introduction of factors such as technological advancements in developing the HS codes of goods.

This includes the breakdown of vehicles to include advanced models such as hybrid vehicles, some specified wood products, among others.

Citi Business News also understands that the changes are in conformity to what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has considered as necessary in determining tariffs for imported goods.

“Ghana is implementing the CET strictly this year; the total number of changes was 242. We prefer to use the 233 because on the WTO scale, ECOWAS member countries could make the entries on the two hundred and thirty-three products but for the nine extra that were done, member countries could apply them in 2018 and now we are applying ours in 2018,” Mr. Seidu Yakubu explained.

He added, “When the heading is subdivided, the tariffs are the same there may not be any change like the tripod I mentioned of.”

The ECOWAS CET has been in operation since February 2016.

It is among others to reduce revenue leakage at the ports.

Mr. Yakubu further explains that the enforcement of the revised Harmonisation Systems should also help reduce exploitation of local producers as importers will be made to pay excise duties in order to have a common basis to sell their products for compared to local producers.

“The import excise is imposed on products such as non-alcoholic beer that are manufactured in Ghana so to ensure fairness, the importers are made to pay the duty so they do not stand at an advantaged position compared to local producers; since they also pay excise duty for their products,” he added.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/

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