Ghana Parliament Taxes Mobile Phone Importation
From Ghana Business News
The Parliament of Ghana recently passed into law a bill that places an import tax on telephones and mobile phones. Prior to this, there was zero tax on mobile phones importation. The law, Customs and Excise Amendment Bill 2013 seeks to impose a 20 per cent levy on mobile, cellular and satellite phones imported into the country and is expected to enable government raise an amount of GH¢49.8 million to support its developmental activities for the year.
The amended Customs and Excise (Duties and Other Taxes) (Amendment) Act, 1996 (Act 512) imposes import duty on telephone and mobile phones, reduces the environmental excise tax on plastic and plastic products from 15 per cent to five per cent. The new law therefore repeals the Tariff No 6 of the Customs and Excise (Duties and other Taxes) Act, 2012 (Act 840).
The government’s immediate purpose for this tax is to raise additional revenue for the budget-to mitigate a widening deficit. In addition it explained that the tax will protect domestic manufacturers of mobile phones and protect jobs in the sector. Before the tax came into force, Parliament’s Finance Committee, Vice Chairman, Gabriel Kodwo Essilfie, observed that import duty on telephone sets were removed in 2008, however this did not yield the intended results. Rather, their prices increased, hence the government’s reintroduction of the import duty.
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