GRA officials trained on Rules of Origin

By
Morkporkpor Anku, GNA
    

Accra, Aug. 19, GNA –
European Union, under its Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling
Programme (TRAQUE), has commenced the training of the Customs Division of the
Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) staff on the Rules of Origin.

The training on
Rules of Origin under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is to enable the
GRA Staff to efficiently implement and verify the European Union Rules of
Origin and correctly deliver the correspondent proof of origin.

Rules of Origin in
the regional EPA are also very favourable, providing for asymmetry between West
Africa and EU, as well as for very generous provisions.

Dr Ekwow
Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, during the opening of the
training, said Rules of Origin had become prominent feature of today’s trading
system and various regional trade agreements were being negotiated across the
globe.

He said while
negotiations were ongoing to harmonise the non-preferential rules of origin, the
proliferation of preferential trade agreement represented an important concern
in terms of customs revenue.

The Minister said
though intended to facilitate free trade, promote local investment and protect
sensitive local industries from “unfair” competition, there was increasing
evidence that preferential rules of origin regimes were overly complex and
imposed unintended consequences for businesses.

He said the training
workshop was aimed at enhancing the understanding of participants and correct
application of Rules of Origin as stakeholders stimulate economic growth.

Mr Martin Wilde, the
Rules of Origin Expert, said many exporters did not use the rules and these
made them pay more tariffs than they should.

He said the Rules of
Origin were used to determine the country of origin of a product for
international trade, adding that “the basic role of Rules of Origin is the
determination of the economic nationality as opposed to the geographical
nationality of a given good.”

He said there were
several mandatory legal or administrative requirement to observe when goods
were traded on the international market.

He said there was
the need to equip the country’s revenue collection agencies to be able to meet
internationally accepted standards for exports.

“So it is a case of
raising awareness and putting policies and regulations in place to ensure that
both customs and traders apply the rules correctly,” he added.

The training
workshop is expected to be replicated in Tema, Aflao, Tamale, Kumsai, Elubo and
Takoradi.

GNA

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