Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has stated that a future NDC government will withdraw the law that bans the importation of salvage vehicles, also known as accident cars, as well as second hand cars of not more than years old into the country.
Mr. Mahama said his next government will also scrap the proposed increment in the import duty for such vehicles.
The move, according to the former President, is to ensure Ghanaians, whose livelihoods depend on that sector of the economy, continue to enjoy decent lives and revenues.
The Customs Amendment Act 2020 among other things, provides incentives for automobile manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturers Programme and prohibits the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and second-hand cars of over ten years old.
It was passed by Parliament in March, and it is expected to be rolled out in November 2020, despite stiff opposition from dealers in such vehicles.
The Minority in Parliament had insisted the new law is counterproductive and will lead to more job losses than new employment.
Highlighting portions of the party’s manifesto on Monday, September 7, 2020, however, John Mahama indicated that the review of the amendment act is to protect the local automotive industry from collapse.
“We will review the Customs Amendment Act 2020 (Act 1014) to scrap the law banning the importation of salvage vehicles and the proposed implementation of a 35 per cent import duty rate. We are going to scrap it in order that salvage cars are not banned, and the duty rate government intends to impose on these vehicles does not happen. This is to safeguard the local automobile industry so that our people in Suame Magazine, Abossey Okai, Komkompe to continue to work to earn a decent living.”
Since the law was announced, car and spare parts dealers, clearing agents, and artisans have put pressure on government to review it.
But the government’s justification is for Ghanaians to focus on the long-term gains that the Customs Amendment Bill will bring rather than the immediate losses.
The benefits it says largely outweigh the losses as the amendment will boost the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Programme which has so far attracted several car assembling plants into the country.