Ghana saves about GH¢1 billion from unlawful trade of refined petroleum products after an immense fight

Ghana has been able to save nearly GH¢1 billion from the fight against the unlawful trade of refined petroleum products in 2018.

Ghana saves about GH¢1 billion from unlawful trade of refined petroleum products after an immense fight

This was a reversal from the losses made in the last three years – 2015 to 2017- through unaccounted stock and evasion of taxes.

This was captured in the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors' (CBOD) latest annual report on the downstream petroleum subsector.

The savings, according to the CBOD, were as a result of interventions by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to curb the illicit trade of petroleum products and ensure that it was sold through official channels,

“In 2018, no loss related to unaccounted stocks is estimated as it was revealed that 574.25 million litres more than the official stocks saleable in the country were sold. This indicates that smuggled stocks in the monitored depots must have been trapped as a result of the NPA’s regulatory interventions to curb the illicit trade of petroleum products and forced to be sold through official channels,” the report stated.

Adding that “This saved the nation GH¢797.49 million in taxes and GH¢154.93 million in regulatory margins yielding a total savings of GH¢952.42 million.”

The NPA, aided by elements of the central government, the report said, made progress towards tackling the challenges of smuggling and tax evasion some of which were covered in the 2017 CBOD industry report.

“This was a welcome move in the industry and yielded tangible results even though there remains a lot to be done to bring sustainable finality to the illegal trade,” it said.

The report further explained the interventions by the NPA minimised the evasion of official channels of distributions and, hence, an increase in official volumes of the most tax-evaded products, AGO regular and PMS, which shot up by 17 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

However, the report said, for the period 2015 to 2018, total taxes evaded based on official unaccounted stocks stood at GH¢1.3 billion while total under-reported taxes based on official accounted sale volume after adjustments for exemptions stands at GH¢1.2 billion.

“This implies that the country has lost a total of GH¢2.6 billion in taxes for the period. Combined with the evaded regulatory margin of GH¢231.53 million, a total GH¢2.790.59 million has been lost to the nation in taxes and regulatory margins for the period 2015 to 2018,” it stated.

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