Benchmark values to blame for high cost of goods – GUTA

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GUTA President

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is blaming the high cost of goods in the country on the re-introduction of the benchmark values.

According to its President, Dr Joseph Obeng, the 50% reduction of the benchmark values of imports is illegal.

He is, therefore, calling for the reversal of the policy because it does not conform to the World Trade Protocols.

Speaking at a Pre-Budget Forum powered by Joy Business, Dr Obeng pointed out that the bench mark value was responsible for the rising cost of goods in the country.

“Benchmark system doesn’t exist anywhere; it does not exist in the WTO valuation system, is illegal”, he stressed.

“What they [Customs] have to use is the transactional values but are now using their own discretions to bring out a set of values to benchmark our prices. Everyone is blaming us the trading community for high price of goods and services, but that is not true”, he stated.

The Benchmark Value Discount Policy was introduced in April 2019 by government in an attempt to make the Ghanaian ports competitive, reduce smuggling and increase government’s revenue from the port.

The policy provided a discount of 50% on the delivery or benchmark values of imports with the exceptions of vehicles.

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