Customs seek public support to deal with smuggling of goods into the country

Mr. Edward Bagyiri, Chief Revenue Officer, Import and Export Unit, Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division, has appealed to Ghanaians to report illicit activities in the trading sector to reduce smuggling in the country.

‘We also want to appeal to the public and our trading partners that the task is too huge for customers alone, and if we want to achieve equity in the market, then we must ensure that those who are breaking the rules are brought to book,’ he stated.

Mr. Bagyiri was speaking at a Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) Breakfast Meeting organized by the Ghana Investment and Promotion Centre and added that there was an informant system that rewarded people who gave out such information on such activities.

He said there were some people in the import and export industries who tried to take advantage of the system by smuggling their goods into the country, stressing that the situation had necessitated deploying their preventive officers at strategic locations to curb the menace.

The Chief Revenue Officer explained that one of the major challenges Customs faced was compliance with the payment of duties and cautioned that the Authority would not relent in dealing with such people.

‘I always say that if our trading partners decide to be in tax compliance, then we won’t have too many problems, or so many problems having to chase people around, but unfortunately that has been the situation.’

He lamented that the non-compliance nature of people was creating an imbalanced platform for all the players because those people were making abnormal profits by beating the market and selling goods at cheaper rate.

He added that with the advanced information system the division uses, they were able to profile to determine the type of consignment being transported into the country and whether it was illicit or not.

Mr. Bagyiri emphasized that perpetrators would face the law by paying hefty penalties placed on the consignments.

Source: Ghana News Agency