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27.05.2005 Regional News

Proliferation smuggled motorbikes in Wa discussed

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Wa, May 27, GNA - The proliferation of smuggled motorbikes in the Wa Municipality dominated discussions at a day's awareness creation seminar on the Destination Inspection Scheme (DIS) organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry at Wa on Thursday.

Some cross-border motorbike dealers at the ceremony noted that smuggling of the motorbikes could stop only if the Government reduced the duties on them.

However, the Wa Sector Commander of Custom, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Mr Yao Tehorley, who chaired the function, said Wa was not an entry point and the dealers should spare CEPS the time and resources it used in chasing owners of smuggled motorbikes to pay the necessary custom duties.

He said smugglers could not dictate to the Government what to do and they should remember that they were denying the Government of funds for their own development by their activities. He warned that CEPS would soon embark on an operation to rid the town of all smuggled motorbikes and those apprehended would pay penalty in addition to the duty or risk loosing the bikes.

Mr Tehorley appealed to those, who patronised these motorbikes to ensure that the documents covering them were correct and duly registered by the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA) The seminar, which had traders and micro businessmen and businesswomen in attendance, discussed: "Clearing of Imports Under DIS in Ghana"; "Guidelines in the Clearing of High-Risk Goods"; "Handling of Non-Performing Products"; "DIS Process" and "Relevance of Standards".

Miss Veronica Sadah, from CEPS Headquarters, Accra, advised business people to consult the appropriate agencies for advice on their plans before starting their ventures.

She said CEPS officials had often been branded as arrogant and bullies but with the reforms going on in the Service, they were now customer-focused.

Responding to concern raised by a participant over clash of function between Ghana Standards Board and the Food and Drugs Board, Mr George Alorsor, Chairman of the DIS Public Education Sub-Committee, said a committee was in the offing to address that issue in order to avoid duplication and confusion in the performance of their functions. Other issues raised by the participants were lack for access to Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) by business people in the area because they could not get bank guarantee.

They stressed the need to fix a price for sheanuts and the to explore overseas markets for smocks.

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