Ghana is to enforce a law which obliges all commercial imports to be subjected to destination inspection and valuation even if those goods are tax exempt or oil industry related capital equipment.
“The arrangement where all tax exempt imports for the energy, mining, petroleum and some other sectors are not subjected to any form of inspection and valuation opens Ghana to serious abuses when it comes to accounting for the actual stated investments in those sectors by multi-nationals and the determination of royalties and taxes,” the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mahama Ayariga, said on Tuesday in a staatement in Accra.
Ayariga said this lapse also exposed Ghana to capital flight through transfer pricing, adding that equally serious was the âœcatastrophic environmental implications” of using improper and unsafe equipment.
“The only way to prevent these threats to our fair share of the oil find and the environmental dangers associated with improper and unsafe equipment is an inspection of such imports by the Ghanaian Government before they are used in Ghana,” he said.
Ghana is to start producing oil in commercial quantities off-shore its western region in the last quarter of this year.
Ayariga said the Ministry would implement all measures aimed at ensuring full accountability in the exploitation of Ghana’s crude oil so that the people would enjoy its maximum benefits.
He said destination inspection of such equipment, even in the case where they enjoy tax exemption, was standard industry practice across the world which all credible multi-nationals in the oil sector were aware of and used to.
“There should be no problems with the industry players as Ghana equally adopts such industry best practices,” Ayariga said.