Importers to pay more next year

Tema Port PixThe country is expected to see some significant structural changes in the prices of commo-dities from next January.

This is because import duty tariffs on goods will be increased between five to 10 per cent in conformity with the Common External Tariff to be implemented by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.

The Common External Tariff is one of the instruments aimed at harmonising and strengthening ECOWAS common market.

The Commissioner for Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Wallace Akondor, made this revelation here at the 18th annual general meeting of the Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) on the theme: ‘The impact of single window concept on trade facilitation in Ghana’.

He noted that the common external tariff would ensure the transparency of customs procedures and would eradicate delays at boarders.

To make the implementation easier, he said the Ghana Revenue Authority had embarked on a sensitisation education for GIFF members.

The President of GIFF, Mr. Joe Agbaga noted that infrastructure and capacity constraints at the ports were retarding businesses.

He said that the severe congestion of vehicles on the approach roads and the port environs that impedes movement of vehicular traffic in and out of the ports was having adverse effects on operations at the port.

“Weak partnership with private port operators and other key stakeholders as a result of lack of open competition among the large number of license and conces-sionaries as well as low application of IT to business processes cause poor delivery of service and customer dissatisfaction,” he added.

Mr. Agbaga therefore pleaded with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority to take appropriate and immediate steps to address these.

He also urged the Tema Development Corporation, the Urban Roads Department and other corporate agencies to take charge of their respective responsibilities for development and maintenance of infrastructure that were basic to the facilitation of trade in the country.

Mr. Agbaga said the growing interest of international terminal operators and investors at the port revealed the high level of confidence in the Ghanaian economy.

He said some freight forwarders and road transport operators were investing in new assets such as trucks, warehouse, and IT systems and developing their human resources as part of efforts to enhance their capacity and service delivery.

From Ama Tekyiwaa

Ampadu-Nyarko,

Koforidua

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