Ministry moves to halt dumping of export fuel

The Ministry of Energy has designated two bulk fuel depots solely for export as part of measures to halt the dumping of fuel meant for export.

The two are the Bulk Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST) depots in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region for the northern sector and the Accra Plains in Tema for the southern sector.

Additionally, the ministry is instituting refundable administrative fees on petroleum products marked for export to make them uneconomic to discharge them locally.

 At a breakfast meeting with stakeholders in the downstream petroleum sector in Accra last Friday, the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, said the new measures were being implemented following the dumping of products intended for exports on the local market.

He said further measure to check the dumping would involve the installation of tracking devices on bulk road vehicles (BRVs) transporting petroleum products meant for export.

The event, organised by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), was aimed at soliciting views from players on how best to address issues of dumping as well as safety in the operation of retail outlets.

Representatives of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) attended the meeting.

 Dumping

Petroleum products bound for neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali do not attract any form of taxation or levies due to the provisions of the ECOWAS protocols.

Therefore, some individuals and companies in the sector have devised means of diverting petroleum products onto the Ghanaian market at relatively low prices, thus depriving the state of revenue in taxes.

Mr Agyarko said since local taxes, levies and margins were not applicable to export products, companies and individuals involved in the illegal exportation often gained about 51 per cent in pump prices when they diverted and resold the products in the country.

The practice, he said, had resulted in the government losing revenue, while local industry players were also losing their businesses.

“There is no doubt that the profit gains have become a big incentive for unlawful companies to lift products under the pretext of exporting them only to dump them at retail outlets in the country,” the minister stated.

 Mr Agyarko said that development had compromised the quality of petroleum products.

He said product sampling at retail outlets conducted by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) had found some products unmarked and diluted, thereby creating an artificial increase in export volumes.

Mr Agyarko said already, mitigating measures such as the issuance of export guidelines, reviewing export licences to conform to import partner in the destination country as well as sanction regimes had been put in place to minimise incidence of dumping.

 Sanction regime

He also announced that the ministry, through the NPA, had initiated processes to develop a bulk road vehicle legislation.

He said there ought to be stringent sanctions such as the confiscation of trucks found to be involved in the illegal diversion of export products onto the local market as well as banning business owners entirely from the business to serve as a deterrent.

OMCs

The Coordinator of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs), Mr Kwaku Agyemang Duah, called for the sustenance of the campaign to sanitise the sector.

“We expect to see prosecution of persons involved in this trade, since there are daily reports that suggest vessels and small boats carrying petroleum products were in the habit of transferring these products into BRVs,” Mr Agyemang Duah said.

NPA

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, Mr Hassan Tampuli, in his welcome address, called for a paradigm shift to ensure results-oriented goals would be generated from the new policy initiatives that were being rolled out.

“Our collective resolve to tackle the challenges of the industry can only lead to efficiency, safety, growth of the industry and more importantly job creation,” Mr Tampuli said.

Writer’s email: [email protected]
 


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