Former President John Mahama has indicated that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government under his leadership will scrap the law that bans the importation of accident cars.
According to him, the move is meant to stimulate the local automotive industry rather than kill it.
Mr Mahama made the promise when the NDC launched its 2020 manifesto at the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Monday night.
Recently, a group comprising car dealers, spare parts dealers, clearing agents, and artisans served notice of an intended demonstration on Thursday, 27 August 2020 against the government of Ghana’s ban on old car imports.
The group wanted the ban reversed.
The coalition said in a statement that the Customs Amendment Act, 2020, which comes into force from November this year, will have an adverse impact on the sector as far as jobs are concerned.
According to the group, “the protest is to serve as a strong signal to the government that its decision will collapse our business and deprive more than 20,000 artisans of our livelihood if the policy is rolled out on 1 November 2020.”
However, the coalition later called off the demonstration after having discussions with government.
Government is banning the importation of cars which have been involved in accidents, which dealers bring in and repair to provide even cheaper options to consumers.
It has also banned the importation of cars older than 10 years in the law to encourage international companies including Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. to set up local plants in Ghana.
The new law provides import-duty rebates for companies that manufacture or assemble cars in Ghana, according to the act of parliament obtained Thursday by Bloomberg.
The embargo will take effect six months after the manufacturing or assembling of new vehicles in Ghana begin under a special government program meant to draw investment.
Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp. and Renault SA are among automakers weighing the local assembly of vehicles in a country where used cars make up about 70% of vehicle imports. Ghana is seeking to become a car-manufacturing hub for West Africa, a region with more than 380 million people.
The import restrictions could cost the government as much as $143 million in customs revenue in the first three years after implementation, according to parliamentary documents.