Mr. Seidu Yakubu, Assistant Commissioner of Import and Export at the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), has noted that the Ghana Shippers Authority is doing its best to create a business environment that is smooth so traders can maintain and expand their businesses.
“If there is no confrontation between traders, Customs and government, it will boost business in the country,” he said.
Mr. Yakubu said this at the third in a series of ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) workshops organised by the Ghana Shippers Authority for its stakeholders in Takoradi.
“The Authority is mandated to promote import and export, and this CET affects importers and exporters — following the implementation this year, we realised there has been some misinformation from our own shippers, hence the need for this workshop,” he said.
According to him, there is need for an engagement that will lead to the acceptance of this policy because it is an ECOWAS project – this CET was passed under the Chairmanship of our own President, John Mahama.
Also, he said, it is for shippers to understand what CET is about and the advantages they can take; getting a holistic understanding will provide a competitive environment for them, since shippers in other countries such as Togo and Nigeria are in competition.
“Under the CET you can register certain products that enjoin some exemption; it is important we let the shippers know to enable them enjoy some benefit. If there is better understanding, then the implementation process will be good,” he added.
He explained that implementation of the CET will see to the establishment of a system wherein goods coming into any of the ECOWAS countries will pay any due fees in the country of first entry within the ECOWAS region, and the importer will no longer be required to pay in the country of final destination.
Mr. Abdul Haki Bashiru-Dine, Research and Development Department at the Ghana Shippers Authority, appealed to stakeholders in the trade and transport industry to look at the long-term benefits of the CET.
“CET will benefit shippers across the sub-region, and we therefore call on stakeholders to embrace the initiative,” he said.
He added that a similar event will be organised at the Elubo border on Friday.