A fact-finding mission to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority by a Hot FM and EBN TV Journalist, Isaac Boamah-Darko to ascertain the actual cost of auctioned vehicle or container shows that, the Division in charge of revenue collection of import duties, sell off the confiscated items based on their state.
The Customs Act 2015, Act 891 Section 53 permits the commission to sell uncleared goods by public auction in accordance with prescribed directives.
“Deposit of goods in State warehouse 53. (1) Where goods imported are not delivered from a customs controlled area (a) within seven days after final discharge, or (b) within a further period as the Commissioner-General may in special circumstances allow, a proper officer may deposit the goods in a State warehouse for a period of not more than fourteen days. (2) Goods deposited in a State warehouse shall attract rent and other charges as prescribed. (3) Where goods deposited or required to be deposited in a State warehouse are (a) of a perishable nature, the proper officer may, immediately, sell the goods by public auction; or (b) not of a perishable nature, the proper officer may sell the goods by public auction in accordance with prescribed directives. (4) A proper officer may cause goods that are required to be removed under this Act to a State warehouse to be opened and the owner of the goods shall open the goods for examination at the expense of the owner.
Customs Act 2015, Act 891 Section 43 Subsection (5) Where under this Act, goods are required to be deposited in a State warehouse and for any reason, the proper officer decides that it is undesirable or inconvenient to deposit the goods in a State warehouse the goods shall (a) be deemed to be deposited in a State warehouse, and (b) attract the appropriate charges.”
According to information gathered at the Customs Division, damaged vehicles have their cost reduced as a result of its value that has depreciated.
Vehicles and containers that are left unattended to at the port after sixty days are confiscated and later auctioned for non-payment of duties for the government to accrue its revenue for development.
The auctioned price of the cost of the vehicle is equal to the import duty charge on condition that, the vehicle is still in its good state.
Section 93 of the Customs Act, 2015 Act 891 states goods are auctioned under the directive of the Commissioner General and not under any authority including the office of the President as some media reports suggest.
The Customs Act, 2015 Act 891 Section 93. Subsection (1) Goods may be auctioned under the direction of the Commissioner-General. (2) The price at which goods are sold at an auction sale includes the customs duty. (3) The value of duty for the goods auctioned is not less than the value estimated by the proper officer, (4) The Auction Sales Act, 1989 (PNDCL 230) does not apply”
Per Section 93 subsection 2 of the Customs Act, 2015 Act 891. “(2) The price at which goods are sold at an auction sale includes the customs duty”.
This 2018 Dodge Charger at the Atlas terminal’s duty charge is estimated to be GHȻ 74,853. Will you be willing to pay the import duty when it is being auctioned? Our checks at the Customs Division of the GRA indicates that this vehicle is been auctioned at GHȻ 5000 but potential buyers have refused to purchase. As some media reports suggest that vehicles are auctioned at a lesser price than the actual duty payable to ruling party cronies is misleading. Checks at the Port reveals that, the price is rather reduced considering the state of the vehicle. Section 105 subsection 2 of the Customs Act, 2015 Act 891” (2) The Commissioner-General shall assess the damage sustained by goods and may allow abatement of the duty in proportion to the damage.” This act empowers the commissioner general to reduce the cost of duty charged based on extent of damage to the item.
In the commercial and industrial bulletin number 36 published on Tuesday, 24th September, 2019. There are 950 vehicles, motor bikes and containers across the country due for auction.
At ATLAS terminal, there are 70 overstayed and 33 unmanifested vehicles and 209 overstayed cars and 299 uncleared cargo list (UCL) and 20 motorbikes at SAFEBOND Tema. 57 vehicles at the Kotoka International Airport are due for action.
Outside the Capital city, there are 34 seized vehicles at Koforidua, 20 overstayed vehicles at SAFEBOND Takoradi and 66 at the long room. At the Cape Coast Police Workshop yard, there are 20 vehicles. 6 vehicles and 4 containers are due for auction in Sunyani. 10 vehicles in Elubo, 13 at Ho and 9 motorbikes at Wa. In the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, 80 confiscated vehicles are due for action.
The state of these vehicles determines how much it is sold during public auctions or when allocated to individuals.
A directive issued and signed by Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, Acting Commissioner, Customs on 16th October, 2019 and to take immediate effect indicated a 70% to the general public and 30% to the Confiscated Assets Committee as ratio for the distribution of goods meant for auction. The statement further stated the reserved price of auction goods was to be as follows: a). two times (twice) the duties payable plus 50% of the value of the asset. B). where the original owner becomes the beneficiary of the auction, the reserve price shall be twice the duties payable.
A December 12, 2019 directive from Col. Damoah making reference to the 16th October 2019 directive indicated that the aforementioned directive was no longer tenable, and therefore to revert to the status quo-ante with immediate effect.
a). The ratio of distribution will be 70% to the Confiscated Assets Committee and 30% to the general public.
b. The reserve price shall no longer be twice the duties payable plus 50% of the value of the assets. Thus the reserve price shall be the duties payable only.
From the Ghana trade hub platform, the duty payable for this 2007 Toyota Highlander S/W with chassis no. 5TDZARFH9E5014538 before the 30% deduction was GHȻ 66,775.13 after the 30% deduction is GHȻ 50,579.04. per the state of this vehicle, will the Customs Division be able to sell this during auction at GHȻ 47,810.98.
Duty of this 2012 Honda CR-V is GHȻ 21,086.17, however, would you express the willingness to make such a purchase considering the state of the vehicle?
This 2011 Toyota corolla LE’s duty is GHȻ 12,854.1
The Commissioner General reserves the right to allocate vehicles to individuals and institutions upon request for consideration and not the applicant. Make your own judgment with the state of vehicles when you are allocated or when you intend to purchase during public auction. Get value for your money.
Sample allocation slip
STORY BY: ISAAC BOMAH-DARKO
@BoamahI / email@example.com