The members of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) have expressed displeasure over the multiple inspections they are subjected to by personnel of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Aviance Ghana, BIVAC, and DHL Ghana.
According to the freight forwarders, before cargo is cleared, all these agencies and institutions have to inspect it, which causes the delay clearance of goods at the country’s ports. For instance, cargo that supposed to be cleared in a week, usually takes a month.
These came to light at the GIFF’s Kotoka International Airport maiden durbar held in Accra. The durbar offered stakeholders in the imports and exports sector the opportunity to deliberate on the challenges in the sector.
The National President of GIFF, Mr. Carlos Ahenkora, was quick to add that the delays emanating from the various inspections lead to high cost of doing business in the country. He allured to the fact that all these inspections also attracted fees.
To address the delays, he appealed to the government to cut the number of agencies and institutions involved in the clearance of cargo in the country.
The Kotoka International Airport district chairman of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders , Mr. Kwabena Ofosu-Appiah, in a short address, noted that as representatives of importers, they needed to iron out their differences through dialogue, hence the durbar.
He, therefore, appealed to the various stakeholders to continue to address their differences privately, rather than running to the media to blow it out of proportion.
The Assistant Commissioner, Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Mr. Muhammed Nasirudeen, called on the freight forwarders to endeavour to assist the Customs Division of the GRA with the correct descriptions of goods, to enable them execute their job well, and on time.
He noted that some freight forwarders provide wrong descriptions of imported goods to Customs personnel, which does not augur well for the GCNet system being operated.
When freight forwarders provide wrong descriptions of goods, they are penalised by officials of the Customs Division of the GRA. This penalty, Mr. Nasirudeen, explained was meant to be paid by the aircraft which brought the cargo.
He, therefore, encouraged freight forwarders to discuss their challenges with the Customs Division of the GRA, to help address them.