The Automobile Dealers Union Ghana (ADUG) has described the government’s decision to prohibit car dealers from importing ‘second hand’ vehicles older than 10 years as unfortunate.
The Customs Amendment Bill was passed on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the second reading stage in Parliament.
Per the Bill, the government will stop the importation of used vehicles that are older than 10 years and salvaged cars.
However, the Automobile Dealers Union finds this decision unfair.
“If the car’s fender, bonnet, boot, or other part is broken which somebody can buy and import into the country, I don’t think that those ones should be banned. But the ones that cannot be driven at all, a vehicle that has been damaged or caught by fire or the body is totally condemned, nobody will even invest their money in and buy them to import them into this country. So if you go on to say that there is a broken part and for that matter, those things are not going to be allowed, then I think that it’s rather unfortunate.”
“We have a lot of cars that are even older, even more than 40 to 50 years old, and they are still allowed to be driven on our roads. What are you going to do with those ones but you say you are going to ban a car that has just a few parts broken,” the Secretary of the Union, Clifford Ansu stated on Eyewitness News.
He further noted that they would have a roundtable discussion with the government to come to favourable conclusions with them on the decision.
“If per what he [the Infomation Minister] said is what is going to happen, then we have to meet government and deliberate with them on the way forward.”
The passing of the Customs Amendment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday means the government will prevent anyone from importing used vehicles that are older than 10 years.
The government will also place a total ban on the import of salvaged cars, also known as accident cars.
According to the joint report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Trade, Industry and Tourism, the government has predicted an estimated revenue loss of GHS802 million over the next three years after the review of the policy that is in line with the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme.
The amendment is to provide incentives for automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Manufacturing Development Programme.
A clause in the amendment empowers the Minister of Finance to specify the date on which the ban will come into place.
Car dealers to protest
Before the passing of the Customs Amendment Bill, the Automobile Dealers Union had threatened to demonstrate against the possible ban on the importation of some categories of salvaged and second-hand vehicles.
This was after the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu revealed government’s plan in Parliament a few weeks ago.
Disagreeing to this, Mr. Ansu said they would protest if their concerns are not addressed within a stipulated time.
“We want him [Majority Leader] to come out and tell us why he said the cars we import into this country cause accident on our roads. We are going to do a demonstration exercise to kick against that ban in Parliament. Within a few days time, from now up to Monday we expect to hear positive news from them [government] and if we don’t receive that, then we start from there.”
But the Union later rescinded its decision and rather opted for dialogue with the government.