Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which bans the importation of second-hand or more than ten years old cars, as well as salvage cars, locally referred to as ‘accident cars’, will take effect from September, this year.
The Bill, which was opposed by the Minority and vehicle dealers across the country was later passed into law by Parliament. This was after President Akufo-Addo approved and assented it on April 30 2020.
A statement issued by the government said:
“the prohibition against the importation of salvage motor vehicles into the country under paragraph(b) of subsection(1) of section 58 shall come into force, six months after the date of the coming into force of this Act.”
It also read that:
“the Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Trade may, by legislative instrument, specify the date on which a motor vehicle over ten years shall not be imported into the country. The date specified under subsection (3) shall not be earlier than six months after the first vehicle has been assembled under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme.”
Among other issues, the statement notes that “The date specified under subsection (1) shall not be earlier than six months after the new motor vehicles manufactured under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme are made available
Also, arrangements have been made for the motor vehicles to be sold per the investment plans of the automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme.
The passage of the bill came after the acceptance and approval of the report of the Joint Committees on Finance, Trade and Industry and Tourism for amendments to be made in the Customs Act, 2015 on March 3, 2020.
The Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme (GAMDP).
The government as part of its transformational agenda identified Vehicle Assembly and Automotive Components Manufacturing as a strategic anchor industry that will promote economic development in the country and provide incentives for auto manufacturers. As a result, it launched the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, GAMDP, in August 2019 to promote the manufacture of automobiles for both the domestic market and the West African sub-region.
A report by the Joint Committees on Finance, Trade and Industry and Tourism also noted that Cabinet had approved the Ghana Automotive Development Policy in which various incentives had been provided for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the GAMDP.
It indicated that the committee was informed that the review in policy, as contained in the bill, would lead to an estimated revenue loss of approximately GH¢802.25 million for the first three years.
Commencement of Operations
In August 2019, Toyota and Suzuki became the latest companies to formally commit to setting up car assembling plants in Ghana. This was after Volkswagen, Nissan and Sinotruk also major automobile companies expressed interest in Ghana.
Volkswagen was supposed to start its operation in the first quarter of 2020, Toyota in August 2020, Suzuki before the end of 2020, Nissan in the second quarter of 2020, while discussions about the operations of Renault, Kia and Hyundai are ongoing.