The Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, (ACHAG), has held this year’s annual general meeting to once again assess performance, take stock and plan for the future with respect to the customs house business.
This year’s theme for the AGM was achieving state revenue target in the midst of economic challenges: the role of stakeholders.
Chairman of the meeting, who doubles as the Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Mr. Fred Asiedu Dartey urged all stakeholders within the shipping community to stay committed to trade facilitation objectives.
The Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Suspense Regimes, Emmanuel Ohene said in addition to the rolling out of the e-auction regime, the Division will introduce several initiatives and automated processes that will enhance trade and maximize revenue collection.
The Deputy Commissioner said “we have so far piloted three auctions on the system and when we are satisfied with the process it will be fully implemented at all our customs locations. The post-clearance audit module and the reschedule module have also been deployed and are in use. There are several other processes in the testing phase and once they all pass the user acceptance test they will be deployed.”
President of the Association of Customs House Agents, Ghana, Yaw Kyei said his outfit is happy with developmental initiatives that have enhanced Ghana’s position in the international shipping business.
The President of ACHAG however lamented the current economic challenges having severe effects on the shipping business.
He appealed to policy makers and government “to form a very close alliance with the various stakeholders especially GRA. By this I mean policy makers should give considerations to proposals for these seasoned customs officers. I am highly confident issues like the introduction of the unpopular CTN, the uncertainties surrounding discount on goods, variations in the benchmark policies, auctions of goods and vehicles, the hullaballoos surrounding the exit of GCNet and the coming in of ICUMS could have been better managed. All these create unnecessary tensions, lack of confidence government and uncertainties within the business community.
These sentiments were further echoed by the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng
Dr. Obeng urged the Ministry of Transport to exercise its prerogative of sanctioning the industry. He impressed upon government to ensure shipping lines lump all administration charges as a one-off payment part of the freight charges.
He said this will take away the surprises that accompany certain administrative charges consignees pay during clearance of goods in Ghana.