Customs to bond transit trucks from 2019

Transit trucks conveying exported goods from Ghana’s ports to neighbouring countries are to be bonded by the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from next year.

The introduction of the bond is to halt the diversion of such goods onto the Ghanaian market, Mr Cletus Poulere, Custom Officer in-charge of the Transit Terminal at the Tema Port, revealed this on during a day’s stakeholders meeting organized by the Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tema.

Mr Poulere, briefing participants, said diversion of goods along the transit corridor had become rampant in recent times, therefore the need to put in measures to curb the exercise.

He indicated however that leadership of Custom were working on the fine details of the said bond before its implementation.

He noted that diversion of transit goods deprived Ghana and the destination countries of needed revenue, as no duties where charged on them since they were not meant for the Ghanaian market.

The officer regretted that instead of conveying the goods as declared, they ended up putting it on the local market adding, some went to the extent of changing the number plates of the trucks making it difficult to trace by Customs.

Mr Poulere stated that even though Custom had a monitoring team, it was sometimes difficult to obtain information from the system confirming the arrival of the truck at the destination country.

According to him, some diversions were detected after six months during auditing and sanctions dully imposed on them.

Mr Abdoulaye Sherife Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ghana representative, confirmed the prevalence of diversion of goods but opined that it was mostly perpetrated by the Ghanaian transit truck drivers.

Mr Ouedraogo said his outfit found it fit to organize the meeting to enable stakeholders to sensitize Burkina freight forwarders working in Tema on the new challenges and dynamics of trade on the transit corridor.

He added that it also fit into his outfit’s strategic plan to mobilize the consular intelligence and to put at the disposal of economic information to allow them to effectively carry out their activities and plan future transformations.

He invited Ghanaians to established businesses in Burkina Faso while advising Burkina nationals in Ghana to do genuine businesses and observe all legal procedures covering their transactions in Ghana.

Mr Osei Ntiamoah, Head of Transit at the SIC Insurance Company Limited, on his part, reminded participants that the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) protocol of 1982 and 1990 enjoined countries in the sub-region to appoint a national guarantor to effect a single transit guarantee system for transit goods.

Mr Ntiamoah explained that the insurance bond under the system which was 0.5 per cent of cost of goods was aimed at promoting free movements of goods from one member state to the other without additional cost of acquiring insurance on entry to every country along the corridor.

Source: GNA

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