By AFIA NYARKO ASARE
The Trade and Industry Minister Allan Kyerematen has revealed that government is set to implement a ban on the importation of vehicles older than 10 years among other measures as part of efforts to create a competitive automotive industry and also protect Ghanaians from the dangers of old vehicles.
He made the comments at the launch of the new Ghana Automotive Development policy here in Accra.
According to the Minister, the Automotive Industry plays a strategic role in economic development in respect of employment creation, contribution to GDP, and building of industries like metals, glass, plastics, rubber and electronics.
He also pointed out the benefits to other areas such as vehicle financing, insurance, warehousing, automobile parts, after-market services, among others.
“The difference between what we did in the late 60s and now is the fact that we are now making sure that we have an Auto Policy. People have lost faith in governments, but I can tell you that if we don’t do anything at all, at least we can provide a framework and an environment for the private sector to succeed.”
Among the strategic objectives of the policy is the establishment of a competitive automotive industry, generation of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs (direct and indirect) in automotive assembly, the pursuit of import substitution and exports to improve the balance of payments and the improvement of road safety for all Ghanaians.
According to the Minister the vehicle assembly and the automotive industry is an important component of Government’s industrialization plan, and one of the new strategic anchor industries for Ghana’s transformation.
In order to ensure a true transformation of the industry, Mr. Kyerematen stated that government is ready to implement a ban on the importation of vehicles older than 10 years among other measures.
“Among the measures introduced as part of the new policy is the ban on vehicles older than 10 years. Our imports statistics show that 60 percent of the vehicles imported are over 10 years, and this contributes to the high emission and the pollution of the environment.”
Stakeholders at the launch event welcomed the policy and called for collaboration to make it work.
Thomas Schaefer, the Managing Director of Volkswagen for Sub-Saharan Africa said:
“We are ready to introduce an assembly this year in Ghana. We believe if this policy is implemented properly it would be a huge success for the whole region.”
The General Manager of Kantanka Automobile Company Francis Kojo Kujorji also spoke of his company’s readiness to take advantage of the policy.
“We’ve been looking for waivers and tax holidays for the past 10 years and that’s exactly what we’ll be getting with this new policy. So we are very happy and ready to take advantage of the policy.”
To incentivize the pioneers in the infant automotive industry to invest long-term in the industry and contribute to developing other industries and services essential to the consolidation and growth of the auto industry, the Minister said some exemptions will be given along with other programs. Some of them include the following;
5 Years Corporate Tax Holiday – Enhanced Semi-Knocked-Down (SKD)
10 Years Corporate Tax Holiday Completely-Knocked-Down (CKD)
Exemption of import duties and related charges on any plant, machinery, equipment or parts of the plant, machinery or equipment (that are not already zero-rated) imported for SKD and CKD Auto Assembly
Waiver of the import duty and domestic levies on imported SKD and CKD kits and on Original Equipment components, including:
National Health Insurance Levy
Special Import Levy
By AFIA NYARKO ASARE