Some of the seized mattresses on fire. INSET: Mr. Lawrence Anang addressing the media
THE TEMA Collection Centre of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Greater Accra Region, has started destroying a total of 1, 000 used mattresses seized at the Tema Port.
Owners of the mattresses seized within the last six months were said to have breached import regulations hence the decision to seize the mattresses for destruction.
The destruction which started last Tuesday at the Kpone Landfill Site was done by officials of the GRA under a close supervision by the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), National Security, and other relevant agencies.
It is expected to be a week-long process to clear the warehouse of the secondhand mattresses.
Addressing the media, the Chief Revenue Officer of the State Warehouse in Tema, Mr. Lawrence Anang, stated that the action was meant to serve as a deterrent to other importers who might attempt to breach the law.
According to him, the decision to destroy the mattresses stemmed from the fact that they had violated the law that prohibits the importation of used mattresses, in commercial quantities, into the country.
The Chief Revenue Officer explained that it is acceptable and permissible for one who is moving residence into the country to come along with his or her mattresses, may be a few pieces about five or so, which are allowed under such circumstances.
“When you import used underwears, handkerchiefs, sanitary wear, mattresses in commercial quantities, which the law says are prohibited, there is no option than to destroy them.
“As an individual, when you import about 6 mattresses, I can say it is not in a commercial quantity. The reason behind this destruction is that some of these mattresses may be infected with certain diseases which could be transferred to the users in Ghana,” Mr. Anang clarified.
He warned importers to desist from breaching the law by importing only items that are acceptable else they risk losing their investments if they defy the ban placed on the importation of certain items.
Mr. Anang indicated that some importers would bring in such used items hoping to outwit the system but the vigilant team of the Customs officials always arrest and seize them after a close examination.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema