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Local importers express worry over bad treatment at ports

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VesselThe Concerned Local Importers Association has appealed for government to intervene to save them from ill treatment at the ports.

“This particularly has to do with the clearing of our cargo.”

This was contained in a release signed by Ms Paulina Amoah, Chairperson of the Association.

“We are concerned with the introduction of the Task Force at the ports, which makes the cargo clearing process not only cumbersome, but frustrating,” the release said.

It said although government had explained that the task force was to check corruption, “our experience shows contrary”.

The release said the disparity between the values given by the Destination Inspection Companies, and that of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service(CEPS), was also another source of concern.

“CEPS forces higher values of goods on us in order to meet their revenue target. Unfortunately, this also increases our cost, virtually putting us out of business. We are unable to pay back the already high interest rate loans,” it said.

Importers and agents queue for five days or more for access to the scanner, because scanners often develop faults due to pressure, the release said.

“These delays are affecting our businesses and make it difficult for us to pay the bank loans on time,” it said.

The release said security checks from the preventive checks center to the National Security, up to the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, took about ten days, “before our goods are cleared”.

It continued, “after all these, we have to off-load the goods on our way to the destination, for the task force to also inspect the goods. All these greatly hamper our smooth operations.”

The release said “we are hereby pleading with government to help make our clearance process more flexible, else we would be forced to re-locate to Togo.”

It appealed to government to dissolve the task force, “as they rather cause unnecessary delays, and constitute a committee made up of all stake-holders, to recommend solutions, to resolve the challenges of revenue collection.”

Source: GNA

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