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Ghana ports flouting phone tax waiver


ACCRA  – AUTHORITIES at Ghana’s ports are still charging the 20 percent import tariffs on mobile phones despite the tax policy being weaved by the government in its 2015 budget.

The tax weaver is supposed to be implemented by the Ministry of Finance three months after the approval of the budget by Parliament.

Mobile phone importers in the country raised concern at the development.

The co-chairman of Mobile Phone and Accessory Dealers’ Association, Joseph Agyeman, who confirmed to ItnewsGhana said members of the association were planning to meet officials of the Ministry of Finance to address the issue.

“We are going to do all we can to push for its implementation. Though, it delays we are hopeful that it will be implemented very soon,” he said.

A Kumasi based mobile phone importer, Nana Gyamfi, was confident that if the 20 percent import tariffs on mobile phones were eliminated it would reduce the cost of handsets in Ghana, where taxes make up approximately 35 percent of the cost of a smartphone.

This will enable many more ordinary Ghanaians to afford smartphones that allow them to access the life-changing potential of the Web, he told ItnewsGhana.

The 2015 budget which was presented to parliament in November and subsequently approved in early December, last year reads: “Mobile phone penetration is high in Ghana.

However, smartphones form only 15 percent of this penetration.

Communication is shifting from voice to data and mobile data is projected to grow 6,3 times between 2013 and 2018.

It is proposed that in order to increase smartphone penetration, and in line with Government’s policy of bridging the digital divide within the country, import duties on smartphones will be removed.

It is expected that the increase in smartphone penetration will increase revenue from Communication Service Tax, VAT and corporate taxes.

Sonia Jorge, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet said the removal of import taxes was a key first step towards getting every Ghanaian online.

– CAJ News





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