The Government has initiated processes in parliament to ban the importation of overaged and accident vehicles.
The Customs amendments bill currently in parliament when passed will regulate importation of vehicles.
Currently, overaged vehicles are allowed into the country after payment of penalty.
But speaking during a media encounter in parliament Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that the decision by many automobile companies to establish outlets in Ghana has informed amendments to Ghana’s laws on overaged and accident vehicles.
“The customs amendment bill, I’m just giving you what these bills are meant to achieve. You will know that prior to the economic environment that we have now, it is almost good to mention the political stability that we have at the country. The sojourning of the President is yielding positive result in the sense we have many auto manufacturing companies that want to come and begin assembling automobile in the country… Nissan has given indication, Toyota has given indication and Synotrack has given indication and also from France, Rhino and if they want to come, we need to clean up the environment, you cannot have them to come and begin the production of new vehicles when you allow unfretted importation of second-hand vehicles. So we have to regulate the importation of second-hand vehicles.”
According to him, “for a start, maybe we may begin by banning the importation of vehicles that are older than 10 years and then also prevent the import of salvaged vehicles (Salvage vehicles are those that have been involved in an accident), vehicles that are flooded–people claim them and bring them here, they are the reasons why we have so many accidents on our roads, so it is intended to amend the laws to suit the circumstances to draw down the curtains which will not happen overnight.”
He added “We will suggest to ourselves once the vehicle assembly plants is rolling out, we may give ourselves a period of about six mounts and we say that six months after they start production, then the law could be activated. Of course, the second hand imported vehicles are also very expensive.”
“If you can have the new vehicle from the factory selling at let say the equivalent of $10,000 dollars, why would you by a second-hand vehicles, and sometimes third-hand vehicles because some of these vehicles are sometimes 15 years old and on daily basis, they are getting involved in an accident when they have been written off in those countries, then they come here and we pride ourselves with second vehicles, so we need to relates to these matters,” the Majority Leader, explained.
German car-maker, Volkswagen is one of the automobile companies set to open an assembling plant in Ghana in early 2020.
In 2018 the company announced plans to set up a plant in Ghana as it continues to expand across Africa.
Volkswagen already builds vehicles in Kenya and recently opened another car plant in Rwanda as part of its expansion project in East Africa.
Toyota is also another company that will start to assemble vehicles in Ghana in August this year.