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GRA clamps down on fuel smuggling into and out of Ghana

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has issued new guidelines aimed at checking the rising incidence of fuel smuggling into Ghana.

The new guidelines which took effect last week Thursday, September 1, is intended to end the abuse of the export and re-exports regimes of the industry.

According to the GRA, any deviations from the new guidelines would constitute prima facia evidence of an attempt to breach Customs Control and would lead to perpetuators being penalized in line with existing legislation.

Under the new directive, all traders who are engaged in the petroleum product export and re-export are required to abide by the guidelines for the documentation and removal of their respective consignments from the loading bay.

Government is losing huge revenue due to the increasing number of smuggling incidents in the industry, but according to the GRA the new guidelines will end the increasing revenue loses.

To reinforce the move, all exporters from the 1st of September 2016, are expected to obtain an export license from the National Petroleum Authority in order to be allowed to lift petroleum products for export/re-export from Ghana.

They are also to apply to the Commissioner-General of the GRA for an estimate of the bond sum which shall include the type of products and corresponding quantities intended for export/re-export over a ninety day period which will include the country of export destination.

An applicant shall also contact an insurance company to issue the bond and submit the bond to the Commissioner-General for authentication which will be submitted to the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to commence loading.

According to the GRA, its Customs division will seal the loaded Bulk Road Vehicles (BRV) after loading and where an external agency has been contracted to seal the loaded trucks, customs seals shall be added.

Drivers of the BRVs shall sign an undertaking with Customs before dispatch as each BRV carrying part of the consignment shall report to all the Customs checkpoints along the route for routine checks to be conducted.

At any checkpoint, a checking officer shall record his/her findings on the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) or, where there is no GCMS workstation, a Customs Register has been designed for the purpose.

Meanwhile the GRA says the guidelines are for strict enforcement and says any implementation difficulties should be addressed to the office of the Commissioner General of the GRA.



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