Customs Seek Public Support To Deal With Smuggling Of Goods Into The Country
Edward Bagyiri, the Chief Revenue Officer of the Import and Export Unit at Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division, recently addressed the issue of smuggling in the country and urged Ghanaians to play an active role in combating illicit activities in the trading sector.
Speaking at a Chief Executive Officer’s Breakfast Meeting organized by the Ghana Investment and Promotion Centre, Bagyiri stressed the importance of public engagement and collaboration in order to achieve a fair and equitable market.
Bagyiri emphasized that the task of curbing smuggling and ensuring compliance with trade regulations is too immense to be solely shouldered by customs officials.
He appealed to the public and trading partners to assist in identifying and reporting any instances of rule-breaking or illegal activities.
Recognizing the need for incentives, he highlighted the existence of an informant system that rewards individuals who provide information on illicit trading activities.
The Chief Revenue Officer acknowledged the presence of certain individuals within the import and export industries who attempt to exploit the system by smuggling goods into the country.
To counter this challenge, Bagyiri informed the audience that preventive officers have been strategically stationed at various locations to deter and apprehend offenders.
Among the key issues faced by the Customs Division, Bagyiri identified non-compliance with duty payments as a major concern.
He emphasized that the Ghana Revenue Authority will not tolerate those who evade their tax obligations and warned of strict actions against such individuals.
Bagyiri expressed his belief that if trading partners comply with tax regulations, the task of enforcement would be significantly eased.
Bagyiri lamented the detrimental impact of non-compliance on the market, as it creates an uneven playing field for all participants.
He explained that individuals who engage in illegal practices and evade duties are able to sell their goods at lower prices, thereby enjoying abnormal profits.
This unfair advantage not only hampers legitimate businesses but also undermines the overall economic stability and growth of the country.
In addressing these challenges, Bagyiri highlighted the use of advanced information systems employed by the Customs Division.
These systems enable them to profile and scrutinize incoming consignments, allowing for the identification of illicit goods and the differentiation between legal and illegal trade activities.