Ghana's handset vendors call for removal of 20% import tax

13 Oct 2014

Joseph Osei Agyemang, president of Ghana’s Mobile Phone Dealers Association, has called for the Ghanaian government to withdraw the 20% import duty on mobile, cellular and satellite telephone handsets, which was passed by Parliament in July 2013, Modern Ghana reports. According to the association, the re-introduction of the tax has caused numerous problems for vendors, leading to the collapse of many businesses across the country. The official stated: ‘We do not want to escape the payment of taxes needed to build a better Ghana, but we want to indicate that this policy does not have the potential to achieve the goals.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill that re-introduced the 20% import duty in question was enacted in July 2013. Previously, in 2008 the government removed import duties on telephone handsets to encourage usage, 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 aimed 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.