Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The government continues to face stiff opposition from traders over the reversal of the benchmark value.

The latest to join the bandwagon is the Concerned Freight Forwarders and Traders Association who argues that businesses are already suffering due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policy was to start on January 4, 2022 but was deferred in the “last minute” to January 6 to allow the agents and importers with old stocks to clear them.

Forty-four items have been listed by the Ghana Revenue Authority to be affected but the traders, led by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), said the decision by the government will have an adverse effect on them.

Chairman of the Association, Ohene Kwasi Afawuah in an interview on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem Thursday said the reversal of the benchmark value had led to an increase in freight.

He explained that importers will have to pay more for duty on more than 44 items the government contrary to the government-listed 44 items, saying consumers will be the ones to bear the brunt of the policy.

“Traders are now paying double for goods imported but they are not worried because they will pass it on to the consumer and government will suffer,” Mr Afawuah stated.

He feared the situation will increase smuggling and under-declaration of imported items at the ports.

Mr Afawuah suggested that the government reduce the benchmark value from 50 percent to 30 percent to bring relief to traders.