The Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is the state organisation
responsible for the collection of taxes levied on Imports, Exports and some
locally manufactured goods.
CEPS collects about 50% of total government revenue, and is used to finance
the country's recurrent budget and development projects of health, education,
housing, transport, communication and so on.
The tax administered by the Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive Service
is Indirect, unlike the Direct Tax administered by the Internal Revenue
Service. Indirect Tax is levied on Imports, Exports and locally manufactured
goods, and is paid by importers, exporters and manufacturers and transferred
to the consumer for payment. It is a serious breach of law for anyone
to fail to pay the due tax correctly and on time.
Apart from collecting taxes levied on commodities, CEPS ensures the protection
of the revenue by preventing smuggling, that is by physically patrolling
the borders and other strategic points, examination of goods and premises,
as well as documents relating to the goods. Offenders found involved in
smuggling and other revenue offences are made to face prosecution.
In addition to these revenue functions, CEPS performs agency duties on
behalf of other government organisations and ministries by seeing to the
enforcement of laws on import and export restrictions.
For instance, import and export restrictions and prohibitions on drugs,
arms and ammunitions are enforced by the Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive
At present the Service also collects import VAT on behalf of the VAT
Service, as a revenue collecting agency function. The VAT Service on the
other hand, collects excise duties on behalf of the CEPS.
It is for these reasons that people and goods are required to pass through
"Customs" on coming into, or leaving Ghana.
In sum, therefore, the purpose of the Customs, Excise and Preventive
Service is to:
* collect import duty, import VAT, excise duty;
* protect public health and security by enforcing import and
export prohibitions and restrictions;
* facilitate trade;
* collect trade statistics;
* give policy advise to Ministers on revenue generation in
the most economic,
effective and efficient way possible.