The Deputy Ashanti Regional Commander for the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs), Mr. Evans Teye Agbozo, has advised importers and exporters (shippers) to refrain from engaging in unlawful practices that enable them to reduce the value of Duty to be paid on their goods, because that could lead to unpalatable consequences during the Post Clearance Audit process.
A section of the participants
Speaking at a seminar on Customs Post Clearance Audit organized by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Kumasi on Tuesday 18th July 2023, Mr. Teye Agbozo emphasized that Customs is aware of such acts and will take all necessary measures to ensure that the state receives the appropriate revenue it is owed.
The GSA organized the seminar in response to recurrent complaints from importers regarding the financial inconveniences they face after undergoing the Post Clearance Audit conducted by Customs.
A section of the participants
Customs Post Clearance Audit involves a systematic examination and verification of Customs declarations, supporting documents, and related records after goods have been released from Customs’ control. The objective is to verify the accuracy of information provided by importers or exporters during the Customs Clearance process. It therefore seeks to identify any errors, omissions, or irregularities in Customs declarations, such as incorrect valuation, misclassification of goods, inaccurate determination of origin, or discrepancies in quantities or weights.
Mr. Teye Agbozo further explained that the Post Clearance Audit is mandated by law, and only importers and exporters who try to circumvent the payment of appropriate Duty are held liable and required to pay any differences found after the audit. The process is thus intended to facilitate full compliance with the laws, regulations, and procedures that govern the import and export business.
A shipper asking a question.
He went on to say that during a Post Clearance Audit, Customs officials may select specific transactions for review or conduct random checks on sample basis. They scrutinize relevant documents, including invoices, bills of lading, packing lists, contracts, and financial records, to assess the accuracy and authenticity of the information provided. Interviews with importers, exporters, or other relevant parties may also be conducted to gather additional information or seek clarification.
In her keynote address, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, stated that the GSA aims to ensure that importers and exporters are well-informed to forestall actions that may lead to future difficulties.
“We are here today to gain a better understanding of the Customs Post Clearance Audit regime and how to comply with it without putting the shipper in a disadvantaged position, while also ensuring that the government receives the right quantum of revenue generated from the businesses of our shippers,” she said.
From right: The Deputy Ashanti Regional Commander for Customs, Evans Teye Agbozo, Branch Manager of the GSA’s Branch in Kumasi, John B.A Glover, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Osman Mamuda, CEO of GSA Ms. Benonita Bismarck, Ashanti Regional Shipper Committee Chairman Mr. Joseph Amoah
Participants at the seminar were drawn from the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions. They expressed their enthusiasm at the opportunity to be informed and urged Customs to conduct such educational sessions regularly to empower them.