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Local manufacturers protest 5% excise tax on plastic products

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Local Manufacturers in the country have kicked against the imposition of a 5% excise tax on locally produced plastic products.

They say the tax if not suspended will adversely affect the business community and compound the living conditions of the everyday consumer.

The government in an attempt to deal with plastic waste introduced a 10% Environmental Exercise Tax on selected plastic materials at the entry ports.

Shortly after, the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association agitated over a 5% excise tax on locally manufactured plastic products which it said is being imposed without proper consultation.

The local manufacturers also note that all efforts to get clarifications from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have been futile.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, the President of the Plastic Manufacturing Association, Ebbo Botwe said the tax in its current form will be harsh on the common man and reduce the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

“Passing on the increased costs/5% Excise Tax to consumers would make locally manufactured products more expensive compared to those imported. Already, we are in serious competition with China in terms of plastic product imports.

“In an era where the Government is trying to make Ghanaian businesses more competitive so that they take advantage of the opportunities under the AfCFTA arrangements, the implementation of this Tax will defeat the purpose of AfCFTA.”

He called on the government to as a matter of urgency suspend the implementation of the tax.

“After a deeper analysis and a wider consultation with our partners, namely, the National Association of Sachet & Packaged Water Producers, the Ghana Union of Traders Association, the Association of Ghana Industries and the Food & Beverage Association of Ghana, we wish to state that implementation of the 5% Excise Tax on EX-Factory price of ALL locally manufactured plastic products and packaging be suspended immediately and indefinitely.”

“We also want a better, deeper and broad-based stakeholder consultation done on the idea of any Excise Tax on locally manufactured plastic products.“

President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng also bemoaned how unfavourable the business environment in Ghana has become.

“We cannot be over-taxed out of production. The businessman is overburdened. We cannot bear taxes any further. The effects of the exchange rates is having a great toll on businesses.”

The use of plastic materials is convenient, and it is the preferred choice by both manufacturers and consumers due to its lightweight and its ability to store and prevent food contamination but globally, the effect of plastics on the environment is devastating especially when it is improperly managed.

Because Plastic packaging is typically used for a short period and thereafter disposed of, it causes great danger to the environment. From choking of gutters to threats to marine waters, affecting fishing activities.

According to a BBC report, more than 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic could enter the environment globally by the year 2040 and 95% of these plastic products are for single use with only 5% being recycled.

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