The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) is not happy with how government introduces new policies at the country’s ports.
The Freight Forwarders who have bemoaned how the policies negatively affect their activities at the ports have disclosed that the government does not consult them when making decisions.
Mr Eric Adiamah, the Secretary of the GIFF who was speaking on Inside Politics on Radio XYZ on Friday said some of their colleagues’ businesses are folding up ever since some of the policies were rolled on at the ports.
“They don’t tell anybody [about their plans],and they don’t even do a lot of consultations. So when you check, you realize that they [government] only write letters. When they introduce this, after 2 days then they introduce another one through a letter and suspend the previous one. When they bring this then they suspend that until further notice. When it happens like that you notice there is so much uncertainty in the trading community. Many business men, as a result, are not able to make projections to know whether or not the system will be stable,” he explained.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner General of GRA.
The key policies that have been introduced at the Tema and Takoradi ports since the Akufo-Addo administration assumed power in January 2017 are the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) and the paperless system. The paperless or digital system was introduced to promote efficiency, reduce the turnaround time of vessels, and minimise the human interface to reduce corruption.
However, the GIFF has raised concerns over the CTN. The Freight Forwarders Association, together with the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, and the Importers and exporters Association of Ghana embarked on August 27, 2018 to protest against the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN).
The group cited government’s failure to address their concerns over the policy as the reason, and indicated the policy would impede their trade facilitation.
But Mr Adiamah who said the “takeover of the DICs by the GRA is not a problem” told Mugabe Maase, host of Inside Politics that government’s inconsistencies was rather their worry.
He said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) staff sometimes determine the “benchmark value” of goods at the port which negatively affect them, explaining that the prices of the quantity of goods or products imported into the country vary from country to country hence the GRA officials who guess the prices of goods at the port to determine the taxes to pay to government is wrong.
The GIFF which says the taxes they pay to the government are “very huge” has , therefore,appealed to government to tackle their challenges, especially with the CTN system.
By: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com/Ghana