GRA Laments Freight Forwarders' Opposition To CTN Unfortunate
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is saddened by the resistance to the intended introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note policy by the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders.
According to the GRA, it has held wide consultations with the agencies to be affected the policy, hence their surprise over the stiff opposition to the policy describing the turn of events as unfortunate.
The Authority in a communication to the freight forwarders said the policy, which has been postponed several times, will commence from October 15, 2018.
But the President of the Freight Forwarders Association , Kwabena Ofosu Appiah in an interview on Eyewitness News described the development as a “monumental display of bad faith.”
“This is a monumental display of bad faith. We had a committee of the joint business consultative forum made up of Freight Forwarder Associations and trade associations on one side and the Ghana Revenue Authority as the implementer on another side. Initially, we expressed our hunch about the structure of the committee because we thought that there was going to be an arbiter who will advise the presidency,” he said.
GRA Commissioner in Charge of Customs, Isaac Crentsil, in a Citi News interview said the resistance is uncalled for.
“It is rather unfortunate that they have taken that stance because in the month of September, we engaged them well enough. Almost every week we sit down and have a meeting with them and we sometimes close after 10:00pm or 11:00pm just to find a way and fashion this out, and have come out with a report which was submitted to the president. So out of this I don't know why they are doing this. The GUTA people were part and they were very happy,” he added.
The freight forwarders embarked on a strike on August 27, 2018, to protest against the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) system at the ports.
The action was necessitated by what the businesses described as government's failure to heed concerns on the policy which impedes trade facilitation.
The business associations that participated in the action included; the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana and the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana.
Strike triggered by unresolved concerns
The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, had told Citi Business News their action is to get a possible suspension of the CTN policy.
He further explained that they were open to further consultations by the government to get their concerns addressed and possibly reduce the days for the strike.
“There are people in government who are listening, they are concerned. We want those people to know that they are not in the minority, we want those people to be assured that what they believe is wrong is wrong and we want other people who have not listened to our concerns to begin to gravitate towards us.”
The CTN requires importers to provide real-time information on all consignments to Ghana to a global monitoring platform.
The cost, which ranges between 100 and 200 dollars, is borne by the GRA.