Ghana’s Parliament has passed the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill to re-introduce a 20% import duty on mobile, cellular and satellite telephone handsets, BizTech Africa reports. According to the article, the government removed import duties on telephone handsets to encourage usage in 2008, although the Finance Committee argued that the move did not yield the projected results, since prices of handsets had increased over the period. The new amendment bill also aims to create more leverage for local handset manufacturers to compete in the telecoms market, in addition to raising an estimated GHS49.8 million (USD24.14 million) for the treasury’s coffers.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this week the government dropped plans to pass the Communications Service Tax Bill, which aimed to impose an additional 6% interconnection fee on incoming international calls after objections from the country’s network operators represented by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications. Ghanaian mobile operators currently pay 15% value added tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) on international calls, and the hike in the CST, also known as ‘Talk Tax’, would have resulted in operators passing the new fee on to customers.