Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, has presented a Bonafide Vehicle Assembler Certificate to VW Ghana, as part of government’s grand strategy to facilitate the assembly of world-renowned automobile brands locally and reduce auto imports.
With a staggering US$1.85billion vehicle imports annually–of which used vehicles (5-10 years old) constitute about 70 percent—which puts significant stress on available foreign currency, the state is looking to cut down on imports.
Health and environmental impact are other reasons for government’s desire to have vehicles assembled locally.
Imported used cars, most of which have been involved in serious accidents or floods, have been named as the possible cause of hundreds of road accidents in the country.
Touring the facility with the Trade Minister after the presentation of the certificate, Chief Executive Officer of the VW Ghana, Mr. Jeffrey Oppong Peprah, revealed that the company has commenced commercial production under a registered local company VW Ghana.
VW Ghana presently produces five Volkswagen models in its Accra plant namely: Tiguan, Amarok Pickup, Passat, Polo, and Teramont.
Assembly of new cars and used car market
With no significant car assembling plants, used and salvaged automobiles are among the highest imports of the country.
Top five (5) imported goods in descending order are vehicles, machinery, electronics, cereals and plastics.
The stark statistics of imported used cars made Volkswagen (VW), Nissan, Toyota and Sinotruck request for action to be taken as a pre-requisite to their entry in order to ensure there is market for their products.
Currently, importers of used cars, which are 10 years and above are made to pay a fine in addition to the duties on the car as determined by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)—Customs Division– computation.
The Customs Amendment Bill, 2019, therefore, seeks to ban the import of overage vehicles –10 years or older.