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Ghana Customs Division Intensifies Efforts to Combat Under-Declaration and Under-Invoicing of Imported Goods

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is taking strong measures to curb under-declaration and under-invoicing of imported products at the ports, with a focus on paper products. The Customs division has warned importers, particularly those dealing in paper products, that it will take strict action against anyone found to be deliberately under-declaring goods to cheat the state.

Recent investigations by the GRA have revealed that many paper importers and their clearing agents at the ports are engaged in under-invoicing, giving false descriptions and undervaluing their imports in a bid to evade taxes.

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In a press briefing held in Tema, the Head of Intelligence at the GRA, Assistant Commissioner Wisdom Xetor, expressed concern over the manipulation of actual duty payment by some paper importers and clearing agents at the port. He disclosed that the GRA has introduced a new strategy of tracking some of these importers, and warned them that they are under surveillance.

Going forward, culprits will be punished severely, including having to pay a 300 percent penalty. In cases where contents are banned goods, they will be seized. The GRA is also planning to carry out public examinations of containers, to discourage importers from cheating the system.

For the most part, this exercise was previously carried out underground, but will now be done publicly as a way of warning others to desist from such acts. The GRA is sending a clear message to the importing public that they are under scrutiny and should do the right thing.

It is important for importers to be aware of their obligations and to pay the appropriate taxes and duties on their goods. The GRA is committed to protecting the revenue of the state, and will take decisive action against anyone found to be engaged in under-declaration and under-invoicing of goods.

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