Mr Eric Kweku Hammond, Deputy Director in charge of Foreign Banking Operations at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has advised exporters to be proactive in the acquisition of Letters of Commitment (LOC).
The LOC is a web-based export document that facilitates the repatriation of export proceeds to Ghana.
Mr Hammond said proactiveness would help in the prevention or encountering of some bottlenecks in the exportation process.
Speaking at a Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) forum tagged the “Eye on Port,” he urged exporters not to wait till their goods were at the ports ready for shipment before beginning acquisition processes for LOC or seeking resolution to challenges associated with its acquisition.
He noted that the LOC has been in use since 2016 and mentioned that its importance included allowing the country to obtain the needed foreign exchange to pay for its huge import bills, shoring up of the national reserve, strengthening the cedi, contributing to national development, as well as ensuring consistency in export data.
He said exporters must take advantage of the digitalisation of the LOC system which has made it convenient for them to apply for extensions that have a turnaround time within an hour.
The BoG Deputy Director stated that exporters who wish to apply for extensions beyond the 60-day allowable period do so well ahead of time.
He explained that “If you foresee that you are unable to repatriate the export proceeds for your initial export within the 60-day period, there is a query system in the LOC regime that allows you to apply for an extended period and the Bank of Ghana will gladly extend the period for you to enable you to repatriate the proceeds.”
He reminded exporters that the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) which hosts the LOC system could block subsequent export transactions after non-compliance with the LOC regime.
He disclosed that defaulters of the law that supports the LOC could face a fine or imprisonment for up to ten years. -GNA