The Ministry of Trade and Industry has held another national engagement forum with textiles wholesalers and retailers on the implementation of the Textiles Tax Stamps Policy.
This engagement followed an earlier one with Importers which was held on 27th May, 2022 at the African Regent Hotel, Airport-Accra and forms part of the preparations towards the launch and implementation of the policy before the close of the year.
According to the sector Minister, Alan Kyerematen, the aim of the engagement was to “sensitize and educate the public, particularly dealers in the industry on the introduction/implementation of the textiles tax stamps as part of the Government’s commitment to addressing the challenges of the textiles industry as well as developing the sector to harness the significant gains the sector stands to offer”.
The minister revealed that the local demand for African prints is about 120 million yards per annum, of which the local supply is just about 35% (42million yards), with the remaining 65% imported.
Hon Kyerematen recalled that the local textiles industry used to be very vibrant in the last three decades, but that the influx of pirated designs and gross infringements on trademarks of local textile manufacturers have been identified as two of the key areas which have adversely affected the textiles industry in Ghana.
Towards addressing the situation, the Minister said in 2018 the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Industrial Transformation Agenda of Government announced Six Policy Measures aimed at finding lasting solutions to the challenges and also strengthening the textiles sector which can create millions of well-paid jobs for Ghanaians, namely: Introduction and implementation of textiles tax stamps; Import management systems; Introduction of Designated Entry Corridors (Tema Port and Aflao Border for textile imports).
Further he stated that provision of Incentive Packages for local manufacturers to make them competitive includes: Attract Foreign textile manufacturers to set up or relocate their plants in Ghana; and Reconstitute the Task Force to embark on effective market monitoring and surveillance.
The Minister was of the firm belief that these policy measures will lead to the development of the local textile firms to reduce the import of pirated textiles by promoting local manufacturing.
He assured the stakeholders that with the introduction of the measures, importation is still allowed since the country does not currently have the local manufacturing capacity to meet the total national demand of over 120 million yards per annum. He was hopeful that the policies were going to help streamline the imports of textiles and further ensure that all the players involved in the textiles industry benefit.
The roll-out of the textiles tax stamps has been scheduled for November 1, 2022 and the implementation modalities shall include having textiles stamps affixed on all textile prints traded in Ghana.
Participants used the opportunity to ask questions related to the discussions, from the team from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority-Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Intellectual Property Office and Ghana Standards Authority who responded accordingly.