Dr Mahamudu Bawumia,Vice-President of Ghana
The proposed implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) system at the ports by the GRA may suffer another setback unless the office of the Vice President moves in to avert any such issue.
The GRA has directed that from July 1, all imports into Ghana must bear the unique CTN numbers before they can be cleared.
The GRA also warns that it will fine shipping lines who fail to heed the directive.
But it is unclear whether the office of the Vice President has sanctioned the latest directive as it had ordered the suspension of the policy, twice, already.
CTN rescheduled thrice
This will be the third time of announcing the implementation date for the Cargo Tracking Notes after two initial postponements.
But information available to Citi Business News indicates that the new date may suffer another setback unless the move is approved by the office of the Vice President.
This is because for the two initial roll out dates in February and June, the office of the Vice President had pulled the breaks on starting the CTN.
Citi Business News understands that the shippers who are largely affected by this plan will seek further clarity on the matter today with the GRA and the office of the Vice President.
Nonetheless, the Cargo Tracking Notes requires that an importer bringing in goods from say China will attach the CTN number to the manifest which lists the cargo, passengers, and crew of a ship.
The unique number is also to be attached to the Bill of Lading which is the legal document that details the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried.
GRA to bear cost of obtaining unique CTN numbers
Earlier, freight forwarders opposed the implementation of the CTN citing the rise in the cost of doing business.
But the GRA assures that the cost in acquiring the numbers which range between 100 and 200 dollars, will now be borne by the Authority.
Tax advisor to the Commissioner of Customs, Christian Sottie confirmed this in an earlier interview with Citi Business News.
“People were complaining that the fee being charged will be passed unto the importer so it was suspended but as it stands now, the GRA is going to bear the cost in the provision of the shipment information,” he explained.
He also ruled out any possible upward review of tariffs with the decision to bear the cost of acquiring the unique numbers.
“We take duties and levies on imports; but the tariffs have not been changed yet…We believe that this policy will improve our classification and revaluation.”