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Ghana Business Consultative Forum asks importers to stop shipment

Dr Jospeh Obeng

The Ghana Business Consultative Forum (GBCF) has called on importers to stop shipments into the country from September 1, 2018 until all issues on the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) are resolved with government.

This follows government’s intention to introduce the CTN and the strike action started by members of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) at the country’s ports of entry yesterday.

In a release issued on Friday and jointly signed by Dr Joseph Obeng, President, Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA); Samson A. Asaki, Executive Secretary, Importers & Exporters Association of Ghana and Samuel Ato Aggrey, Executive secretary, Food & Beverages Association, the Forum indicated that the implementation of CTN policy would start in a few days but it has not received any response to its grievances from the government.

The Forum also fully endorsed the demonstration and withdrawal of service by the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF).

It said there have been a lot of controversies surrounding the CTN since its introduction.

In a bid to resolve the issues, the trading community earlier petitioned the Economic Management Team which led to the suspension of the CTN.

“Within a few weeks of the suspension, this same policy was reintroduced without taking into account the petition presented on the concerns of the business community.”

The Forum revealed that on Monday, 20th August, this year, representatives of the business community met the Deputy Minister of Finance, Kweku Kwarteng and his team and raised their concerns and made some suggestions.

“We will not allow the policy to be imposed on us without due regard or consideration for our input,”it stated.

The strike action by the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, Association of Customs House Agents Ghana in solidarity with the earlier stated ones, is expected to thwart the collection of duties on imported goods at the Tema and Takoradi Ports.

Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, President of GIFF, speaking on Citi Fm, said the strike action is geared towards promoting a suspension of the CTN policy.

The CTN requires importers to provide real-time information on all consignments to Ghana to a global monitoring platform.

The cost, which ranges from 100 to 200, is being borne by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Already, the Ship Owners and Agents Association has raised concerns about CTN.

“If that becomes the case, it could affect even routing into Ghana so for instance, if your threshold into Ghana is about maybe a thousand or 300 boxes, and you get something like 50 boxes, maybe the beginning you might come,” the Executive Member of the Ship Owners and Agents Association, Adam Imoro Ayana said.

But the Commissioner of Customs of the GRA, Isaac Crentsil, asserted that his outfit would not back down on the policy which is meant to reduce revenue leakages.

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