The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which is notorious in the hearts and minds of the general public for corruption, has lived up to its poor image in yet another scam that has robbed the nation of a staggering GH¢666,401,848.23.
According to a document in the possession of DAYBREAK, 207 warehouses in Accra and Tema have been found complicit in various acts of corruption, including having exceeded the storage period; failure to enter the goods as required by law; and failure also to pay the import duties payable on the goods held in the warehouse identified.
The scam involves reputable pharmaceutical companies whose name DAYBREAK is withholding for now.
In the document titled RISK ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR GOODS WAREHOUSE BUT NOT EX-WAREHOUSED – PERIOD 2010 TO 2016, the activities covered in this report are part of a bigger revenue mobilization exercise undertaken by the Risk Management Unit (RMU) to assess revenue risks associated with Goods Warehoused but not Ex-warehoused over the period 2010 to 2016.
Please find portions of Report below:
The report, as set up, was to determine the import duty indebtedness of warehouses arising from goods that were warehoused but were not entered and or were not accounted for through any other lawful means permitted under the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) in Accra and Tema.
For the purpose of clarity, and subject to the provisions of section 88 subsection (1) of the Customs Act, the law stipulates that, goods warehoused shall either be entered and delivered for use within the country or used as stores for an aircraft or ship or for exportation under the following conditions,
“(a) in the case of perishable goods, within three months after the day on which the goods were warehoused;
(b) in the case of general goods, within twelve months after the day on which the goods were warehouse; and
(c) in the case of raw material, within two years after the day on which the goods were warehouse”
Following the verification of warehousing data for the period 2010 to 2016 by the RMU, and contrary to the provisions in the law, some goods warehoused in two hundred and seven (207) warehouses in Accra and Tema, were found
- To have exceeded the storage period by the Act;
- To have failed to enter the goods as required by law; and
- To have completely failed to pay the import duties payable on the goods held in the warehouse identified.
The total amount of import duties and taxes evaded and or owed by all the warehouses put together is six hundred and sixty-six million, four hundred and one thousand, eight hundred and forty-eight cedis, twenty-three pesewas GH¢666,401,848.23
A summarized list of the warehouses in these acts of duty evasion and the import duty liability for each of them is attached to this report as appendix A.