Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in charge of Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsey, has indicated that, the introduction of tax stamp on textiles was critical to give buyers the confidence and assurance that they were buying genuine fabrics.

He explained that, it was going to ensure that the smuggled imported wax prints which intends to make the prices of the locally produced ones uncomfortable were reduced on the markets and as well as to pay the right import duties.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at a town hall sensitization and educational meeting on the progress of implementation of the textiles industry reforms, at the Vilcabamba Hotel at Deny in the Volta Region, on Friday, 12th October, 2018.

According to Mr. Ahomka Lindsey, the implementation of the textiles tax stamp was scheduled to have kicked off on 1st September, 2018, but was however postponed to 15th October, 2018, amidst external challenges.

He indicated that, “As a resolve to the reason for the postponement, GRASCON, a local company with expertise in tax stamp production has been identified and engaged to produce the needed tax stamp for the purposes of our campaign to curb the menace of illegal importation of pirated Ghanaian textile prints, save our collapsing textile manufacturing companies and protect the jobs of our dear brothers and sisters who work in these companies.”

Going on, he said, “Someone may ask, is the October 15, 2018, workable…….? The Government (Ministry) through the collaboration of stakeholders including you, are working hard to maintain any deviations in the timeline. However, for indicative purposes, the launch of the textiles tax stamp have been scheduled for November, 14th, 2018.”

Mr. Robert Ahomka Lindsey, further intimated that, the introduction of a new import regime and restrictions management was being considered. He however emphasized that, Government of Ghana was not non anyway against the importation of textile prints into the country due to the fact that, Ghana’s three (3) manufacturing companies, GTP Tex Style, ATL and PRINTEX currently supplies only 40 million yards out of the annual demand of 120 million yards, which represents just 30%.

The Deputy Minister therefore, underscored the need to accommodate importation to take care of the excess demand of 70%. “Besides, the multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in which Ghana is a founding member do not permit arbitrary ban on importation,” he added.

This measure, he said, was to ensure only genuine wax prints were imported into the country and traded on the markets. By this, he said, would be expected that all imported textiles would be required to enter the country through a single dedicated corridor; the Tema port which he said had been fitted with all the needed equipment to track and ensure that, imported wax prints were in conformity with the reforrms such as affixing of tax stamps.

“The operations of the Textiles Tax Force is being reviewed. The revision would ensure that stakeholders representation on the Tax Force are adequate. Consideration is given to having Northern Textiles Tax Force to be responsible for Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern and the Upper Regions. Ideally, the existing Tax Force would be responsible for the remaining Regions in the Southern sector,” Mr. Ahomka Lindsey noted.

Adding that, “The textiles anti-piracy Tax Force would undertake monitoring exercises on all markets after the launch. In this exercise, they will take stock of existing inventory of textiles dealers or traders and provide them with colour coded tax stamps to affixed on them for free of charge to enable them sell the stock within a determined Grace Period. During this period, the Tax Force would not engage in seizures but rather education and sensitization on the application of the tax stamp. However, from 1st January, 2019, the Tax Force will begin the confisticate and destroy all wax prints on the markets without tax stamp.”

He also said, “The Ministry is engaging the local textiles industry players to consider areas of collaboration and Government intervention to reduce the inefficiencies and to ensure how cost of production and competitive pricing of wax prints. This seeks to address the concerns raised by consumers on the cosy of textiles produced locally.”

Meanwhile, he said an import management body was being constituted to oversee import of textiles, acts as a single sourcing agency for all imports of wax prints where all importers would be required to place their orders through. Also the vetting of designs, management of quantities, and among others would be the responsibility of this import management body.


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