The Ghana Cement (GCMA) has commended the Ghana Link and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority for taking a giant step to review cost and freight value of imported bagged cement into the country.
The valuation of Freight on Board (FOB) on importation of bagged cement has recently been adjusted from 25 dollars per metric tonne to 60 dollars per tonne.
Speaking at a forum with the media on the recent developments in the industry, the chairman of the GCMA, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, commended Government for the adjustment, but urged that it be sustained in order to maximize revenue, as well as protect the local cement industry.
The Association is not expecting any value less than 80 dollars per tonne to cover cost and freight of imported cement from China to Ghana,” he said, explaining that imported bagged cement with under declared values resulted in cheaper retail prices and loss of revenue to the country.
Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah, who is also the Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director of Ghacem said the country does not need influx of bagged cement stating that the local cement industry had adequate capacities since various expansions have been completed to guarantee the needed capacities in the country.
He said currently there was a surplus local cement production capacity of over two million tonnes.
“We are appealing to international cement manufacturing companies who know the international cement market trade, to abide by fair trade practices to safeguard the industry, because it has the consequences of workers losing their jobs, facilitating lower taxes to the government and folding up of local cement companies, which will be disastrous for the nation.”
Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah noted that since the GCMA petitioned the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the under-declared value of the FOB, it had been monitoring movement of imported bagged cement and would continue to insist on fair trade practices.
“The retail prices of competitors are below ours, and looking at the cost of bagged cement oversees together with freight, the importers are doing so much damage to the local manufacturers,” he indicated.
He said, “GCMA is not against competition, but against unfair trade practices culminating in unfair competition” manufacturing Association,