Forum on upfront VAT, Post Clearance Audit held for Suame Shippers

An officer with the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of the GRA, Mr. Kweku Tuah Asante Jr addressing the forum.

An open forum was held for shippers at Suame Magazine which seeks to provide insight into the Upfront Payment of VAT and Customs Post Clearance Audit. The second  in the series of events organized by the Kumasi Branch of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), was held in Suame on November 8th 2023  at the Forecourt of the Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU).

To promote responsible and compliant shipping practices, Mr. John Glover, the Branch Manager of the Kumasi branch of the GSA indicated, the program aimed to facilitate a clear understanding of the post-clearance audit process and to address issues affecting Shippers in Kumasi.

Officials from the Customs Division and Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) enlightened Shippers on the Upfront payment of VAT and the Customs Post Clearance Audit (PAC).

Mr. Kweku Tuah Asante Jr., a staff member from the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of the GRA, clarified that the Upfront payment of VAT constitutes 12.5% of the Customs Value for goods being cleared, specifically for transactions exceeding GH₵ 200,000. He noted that it was not an introduction of a new tax, but a compliance effort to ensure the collection of all taxes due the state.

It also aimed to promote fairness among competitors in the market and identify non-compliant traders. However, exemption is applied to goods designated for transit, personal use, and goods for Free Zones Companies. He further explained that there is a refund of the amount paid upfront for the shipper after some requirements are met.

Addressing participants on the Customs Post Clearance Audit (PAC), Mr. Evans Teye Agbozo, Deputy Ashanti Regional Commander for the Customs Division encouraged shippers to provide actual description of their cargo and ensure assigned agents input correct details into the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS). He explained that PAC was introduced to expedite the clearance of goods due to increased volumes and to enhance the country’s ease of doing business. However, the law permits the auditing of goods that are red-flagged.

The event brought together shippers from various associations under the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization, such as the Korea Importers Association, Spare Parts Dealers, Dynamic Spare Parts Dealers Association, and members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association. The interactive session provided participants the opportunity to seek clarity and gain valuable insight on various custom-related matters.

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