Parliament yesterday passed into law a bill to exert punitive measures on persons who manufacture excisable goods in the country without registering with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Excise Bill, 2013, enjoins manufacturers to file their excise duty returns for each calendar month not later than the 21st day of the following month, whether or not an excise duty is payable for the month to which the return relates.
The bill exempts goods purchased from a manufacturer for use by the president of Ghana, government of Ghana contracts where the contract is duly approved by Parliament, goods purchased for official use of any Commonwealth or foreign embassy, mission or consulate, among others.
The object of the bill is to revise and consolidate existing provisions for the imposition and collection of excise duties on selected imported and locally manufactured goods and for related matters.
According to the new law excise duty payable in relation to excisable goods imported into the country shall be paid to the commissioner general at the time the goods are entered for home use.
The Bill which was read the third time and subsequently passed by the legislators , imposes an obligation on manufacturers of commodities such as local gin (Akpeteshie), polythene bags, wine, beer, sachet and bottled water, malt drink, among others, to register with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA ) and pay their excise duties accordingly.
Clause 26 of the bill states that a person who carries on business of manufacturing excisable goods without registering commits an offence and is liable on summary convictions which include a fine even imprisonment.
"The Commissioner General may authorise forfeiture of goods, raw materials, apparatus, utensils and other raw materials which in the opinion of the Commissioner General can be used in the manufacturing of the excisable goods," it states.
The bill also imposes punitive measures on the manufacturing and storage of excisable goods in unapproved warehouses.
It states that a manufacturer who commits such an offence shall pay an administrative penalty equal to two times the amount of duty payable in relation to the excisable goods to the Commissoner General.
It added that such a person shall also be "liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three times the amount of excise duty payable in relation to those excisable goods or to a term of improsonment of not more than one year or both."
Source :ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)