Ghana is introducing a new measure requiring that all textiles, both locally made and imported, to carry a specially designed tax stamp sticker before they can be traded in the open market.
The measure to be introduced in mid-November this year is part of Ghana’s efforts to curb smuggling and mis-invoicing, design piracy and tax evasion.
According to deputy trade and industry minister Robert Ahomka-Lindsey, the sticker is also a necessary intervention to support the country’s ailing textiles industry.
“If we are keying on industrial transformation, one of the most obvious areas that we have the competitive advantage is in the design or textile manufacturing industry,” Ahomka-Lindsey told journalists at a meeting of senior customs officers.
He went on to say that the government was not against imported textiles but insisted the tax stamp sticker was necessary to ensure that imported textiles are properly taxed and provide the government with the revenue it needs to fund Ghana’s development.
The tax stamp stickers will come in two different colours; one for Ghana-made textiles and the other for imported goods. They will incorporate a scannable code that the deputy minister says will provide real-time feedback to customs offices.
Textile dealers or buyers will be required either to use mobile phones to report transactions to customs offices or scratch the sticker to reveal a unique code that they would then be required to send to customs via a toll-free number.
Ghana’s textile sector employed about 30,000 people in the 1980s but now has a workforce of about 1,200.
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