The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has stressed the need for people to authenticate vehicle papers with the Division before striking purchase deals.Customs

Mr Robert Nana Mensah, acting Assistant Commissioner responsible for Public Affairs, gave the advice at a seminar in Ho on Monday to sensitize the media on customs procedures.

He explained that some vehicle importers devise devious ways of hiding their non-compliance with the tax laws, some of which only trained eyes could detect.

Mr Mensah said a common way of trying to beat the system was the alteration of the chassis numbers of vehicles.

He said clearing goods was best, easier and professionally done by Customs-trained, recognized and recommended Clearing Agents rather than by importers themselves who could find the processes and procedures tedious.

Mr Mensah said there was opportunity for importers to have pre-arrival assessments of goods to enable them mobilize funds in advance for expeditious clearing of their goods.

He said on the contrary, many business people do not plan their transactions properly, but waited until the arrival of their goods before looking for money to clear those goods and blame the Customs Division for delays.

Mr Mensah said in the coming months the Division will undertake operations to retrieve un-customed vehicles plying the streets.

He took journalists from both print and electronic media through the statutes establishing the Customs Division, duties, procedures at the ports and various collection points and powers of officers.

Mr Mensah said the structural changes that brought all revenue collecting agencies under one corporate umbrella was going along with logistics beef up, including massive automation of procedures.

He said the seminar, which had been organized in all regions was part of a UNDP supported governance project to enable journalist report from an informed position, demystify Customs procedures and processes, and associated perceived corruption in the Division.

Miss Elizabeth Newell, Ho Sector Commander, said customs procedures were not done haphazardly and that every decision was based on regulations.

She said there was opportunity for entrepreneurs to invest in warehousing in the region.


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