Business News of Saturday, 3 November 2018
Barely a month after the introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), three port business operators say they are yet to feel the impact of the implementation of the new policy.
According to the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), the Importers and Exporters Association and the Association of Custom House Agents Ghana, the policy had not brought any major changes to their operations at the country’s ports and the businesses of their members.
Expressing their concerns at a forum on trade facilitation organised by Imani Ghana in Accra on November 1, 2018, they also claimed that officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) were not doing anything different but sticking to the same old process.
That was in spite of the fact that the CTN policy had brought extra cost to their operations because their members were spending between $250 and $300 or its equivalent in euros because the CTN charges had been passed on to them by their counterparts in other countries.
The President of GIFF, Mr Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, said the GRA rushed in its decision to implement the CTN and noted that the association’s earlier position regarding the policy had not changed.
GIFF had earlier kicked against the CTN policy, describing it as dangerous to the businesses of port operators.
Stating the same claims during the forum, Mr Appiah said the association was not opposing any reforms that would enhance businesses but was rather against policies that would not yield any positive result.
He said in terms of value for money, CTN was not bringing any additional income to the government and wondered why the GRA would still implement it.
The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Mr Samson Asaki, said the CTN had brought extra cost to the operations of importers.
Although importers in Ghana would not pay for it, he said, their counterparts in other countries had decided to factor the cost into the shipping of their products because it was now a requirement by the GRA.
“This is what we are against. We are not opposing the government’s quest to improve its revenue mobilisation,” Mr Asaki said.
The representative of the Association of Custom House Agent Ghana, Mr Yaw Kyei, shared similar concerns and called on the GRA to find a way to address the issues raised by the port operators.
To him, that would support the operations of both the government and businesses.
The Chief Revenue Officer of the Customs Division of the GRA, Mr Bismark Kisi, said the implementation of the CTN was not targeted at collapsing businesses but was rather a part of the broader goal of enhancing revenue mobilisation.
He, however, gave an assurance that various issues regarding the CTN would be addressed.