Car dealers threaten govt with ‘naked’ demonstration over ban on some 2nd hand cars

Government has been threatened with demonstration if it decides not heed to the call of the Automobile Dealers Union of ghana (ADUG) to amend some aspects of the Customs (Amendment) Act 2020.

According to the Union, it is poised to insist on the amendment of some aspects of the Customs (Amendment) Act 2020 which bans the importation of second hand cars of more than ten years old, and salvage cars, locally referred to as ‘accident cars’.

Meanwhile, Parliament in March this year, passed the Customs (Amendment) Bill, which the President later assented to, hence became an Act.

However, Government strongly believes that, the new amendmwnts will boost Ghana’s Automobile Manufacturing Programme hence the benefits largely outweigh the losses that, several car assembling plants has shown interest to set up in the country.

Addrrssing the media at its press conference in Accra, the Union President, Mr. Eric Kweku Boateng reteriated the union decision to embark on a ‘naked’ demonstration if governmwnt refuses to listen to their concerns regarding to the ban of second cars as stated by government through the Customs (Amendment) Act 2020.

To him, these actions will seriously affect the suplly chain of the automobile industry right from the welder, car sprayer, automobile electricians, spare parts dealers among others.

Adding his voice, the Operations Director of the Union, Anthony Kofi Yankey indicated that, government decision to procees with the amendment will seriously affect business of members, hence render them jobless in the automobile industry.

Revealing that, “We have given government a 2-week ultimatum to commit to reviewing the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2020 and failure to do that, we will hit the streets and hold massive demonstrations irrespective of Covid-19 uprise”.

To him, if they don’t speak and come out and demonstrate their displeasure on this matter and it continues, a lot of people are going to be affected and their hard built businesses are going to collapse.

Ban on importation of ‘accident’ and 10-yr old used cars starts in Oct. 2020

Government says the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which bans the importation of second hand cars of more than ten years old, as well as salvage cars, will take effect from October, this year.

The Bill, which was opposed by the Minority and vehicle dealers across the country was later passed into law by Parliament, and approved by President Akufo-Addo on April, 30 2020.

A statement issued by the government said, “the prohibition against the importation of salvage motor vehicles into the country under paragraph(b) of subsection(1) of section 58 shall come into force, six months after the date of the coming into force of this Act.”

It also stated that, “the Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Trade may, by legislative instrument, specify the date on which a motor vehicle over ten years shall not be imported into the country. The date specified under subsection (3) shall not be earlier than six months after the first vehicle has been assembled under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme.”

Among other issues, the statement notes that, “The date specified under subsection(1) shall not be earlier than six months after the new motor vehicles manufactured under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Programme are made available

Also, arrangements have been made for the motor vehicles to be sold in accordance with the investment plans of the automotive manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development.

Background

The government as part of its transformational agenda identified Vehicle Assembly and Automotive Components Manufacturing as a strategic anchor industry that will promote economic development in the country and provide incentives for auto manufacturers.

It thus launched the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, GAMDP, in August 2019 to promote the manufacture of automobiles for both the domestic market and the West African sub-region.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi

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