AFTER a long tussle over the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN), the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) yesterday commenced the implementation of the policy in earnest.

The worldwide policy represents a platform for collection and management of commercial and logistical information relating to cargo and ship from part of loading to part of discharge.

It is part of the changes in global cargo security policies following 9th November 2001 which led to the establishment of new protocols for tracking and screening cargo around the world.

Indeed, in line with the new protocols, the GRA is spearheading the implementations as recommended by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO).

According to the GRA, it is mandatory for all shipments to and from Ghana to have a CTN number from Yesterday, without which the cargo cannot be cleared at destination.

As a matter of fact, the road to implementation has been rough and tough for the GRA as stakeholders in the industry have vehemently kicked against its implementation.

The stakeholders, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Association of Custom House Agents of Ghana, Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana, and the Custom Brookers Association of Ghana have all protested leading to the postponement of it implementation from September 1, to October 15, 2018.

The new date was arrived at after President Nana Addo Dankwa intervened to allow for further consultations in order for the concerns of the stakeholders to be addressed.

It would have been assumed that with the take off, all concerns have been addressed and the stakeholders would comply with the new policy.

There are still few murmuring as the CTN took off with some of the stakeholders restating their opposition to the new policy.

The Ghanaian Times is of the opinion that it is too late for any backtracking on the policy as the government has met international obligations and protocols.

We are of the view that although some of the stakeholders may still have some grievances, it is important for the policy to take off whilst their concerns are addressed.

Already, the GRA has made some exemptions to various categories of importers as a result of the dialogue with the stakeholders.

The exemptions, according to the GRA, were to ensure that small and medium scale importers, mostly petty traders, market men and women, small distributers and other small to medium businesses were free from requirements of the policy.

Additionally, the government has undertaken to monitor closely the implementation of the policy to be able to study the needed lessons and adjust the scope if necessary for the realisation of the goals of the CTN.

The measures instituted together with the goodwill shown by the government, before the implementation should give all the confidence that the CTN policy is in the interest of the country.

The country risks international isolation without the CTN and it is the importers and exporters who would be hard hit by the consequences.

We must all support the policy to succeed after all, the country benefits if all goes well.

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