Ghana’s Parliament is set to put in place a regulatory framework for the importation of second-hand and salvaged vehicles.
This will be done through the Customs Amendment Bill which is on the agenda of the House for consideration.
Speaking at an Encounter with the Media, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu indicated that such a regime is necessary for the emerging automobile industry.
“For a start maybe we may begin by banning the importation of vehicles that are older than 10 years and then also prevent the import of salvaged vehicles,” he said.
Though the data says otherwise, the Majority Leader said these imported vehicles “are the reasons why we have so many accidents on our roads.”
Data from the National Road Safety Authority indicates that in 2018, inattention by drivers led to 41.8 percent of deaths on the country’s roads whilst speeding led to 26.8 percent of deaths recorded.
The Majority Leader also alluded to the setting up of assembly plants being set up by a number of car manufacturing companies.
In August 2019, Toyota and Suzuki became the latest companies to formally commit to setting up car assembling plants in Ghana.
Toyota and Suzuki joined Volkswagen, Nissan and Sinotruk as major automobile companies with an interest in Ghana.
“We are not going to draw down the curtains overnight. We would suggest to ourselves that once the vehicle assembly plants start rolling out, we will give ourselves up to a period say six months and the law can be activated,” he noted.
Data available from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Customs Division, indicates that between 2005 and 2016, more than 1 million vehicles were imported into the country; representing an average of 100,000 cars per year.
Out of the total fleet of vehicles imported within the period under review, 80 percent are said to be secondhand vehicles.
Currently, there are over-age penalties ranging between 5% and 50% on vehicle imports of between 10 years and those over 20 years at the country’s ports.