The Vehicle and Asset Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG), has said if the government does not review the Customs Amendment Bill, 2020 (Act 891) to protect its businesses, it will be forced to explore other “options available.”
Parliament, on 12 March 2020, passed the bill to amend the Customs Act, 2015 (ACR 891) to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme, prohibit the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and second-hand vehicles over ten years old into the country.
According to VADUG, the bill, in its current form, will drive its members out of business.
VADUG is, therefore, seeking a revision of the bill to enable a healthy competitive economical automobile market.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, 16 July 2020, Executive Secretary of the Union, Joshua Opoku Agyemang, wondered how many Ghanaians could afford to purchase brand new assembled vehicles.
The VADUG Executive Secretary stated: “The Bill does not guarantee the survival of our businesses as a union. It is incumbent on us as a people and country to decide if our salaries or wages can afford to service loans for brand new assembled cars because VADUG does not believe that all Ghanaians have become equal and rich overnight.”
The union also noted that it is not opposed to the introduction of foreign vehicle manufacturers onto the Ghanaian market but particular about the protection of its market by the policy.
Mr Opoku Agyemang said: “VADUG has never been in opposition to the introduction of foreign vehicle assemblies. All that we seek from our listening President, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is to ensure that all industry players are protected by this policy.
“The only action on the part of government which will let us lower our guards as industry stakeholders would be the initiation of parliamentary procedures for the amendment of the Customs Amendment Bill 2020 (Act 891).”
VADUG further gave government till the end of July to review the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2020.
“We are giving the government up till the end of this month to commit to reviewing the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2020. If they don’t listen we would consider other options available to us.”