Importers in the country have accused the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) of failing to communicate with them on the rescheduled date for the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes System.
The Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) is a system that will provide data to Ghana Customs and other stakeholders well in advance to enable cargo review processes in a manner that will ensure key shipment information in real-time to effectively control, supervise and manage import traffic into Ghana.
If implemented, it will be mandatory for all shipments to Ghana to have CTN numbers, without which cargo cannot be cleared.
The system was to commence on 1 June 2018 but has been re-scheduled to 1 July 2018.
Commenting on the implementation date, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Awingobit, said although the system is a good move, government failed to engage them on the implementation date, which, he said, is against World Trade Organisation (WTO) laws.
Mr Awingobit added: “Under the WTO laws, it says if you want to bring a new programme, you’ll need to engage the stakeholders. I’m not saying they’ve never consulted with us, but there was this consultation where they announced the implementation date and the Economic Management Committee, headed by the vice-president, issued a statement stopping the policy.
“A month ago, Customs, again, through the Commissioner-General, issued another press statement indicating that 1 June 2018, they were going to implement the policy. Then, the same economic management committee issued another statement saying they haven’t come back to them for clearance, so, they cannot go ahead to implement it.
“If they have gone back for that clearance so be it, but what prevents them from calling us to say that for these reasons, we have gotten clearance from the government, or from the economic management committee, and, hence, for that matter, we’ll want to implement it come 1 July 2018.
“We cannot just wake up and see a statement, we’re no more in an undemocratic era, we’re in a democratic era, and, so, such a statement is undemocratic, and it is also not giving respect to the institutions like the World Trade Organisation.”