Cargo Tracking Note has come to stay – Mr Nti

Emmanuel Kofi Nti

The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has stated that the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) module, which took effect from Monday, has come to stay.

He said CTN was a Risk Assessment engine which allowed Customs and other Authorities to effectively control, supervise, manage and import tariffs.

The CTN module is a system in which shippers upload information on their Cargo onto a global platform and made available to Cargo Tracking Notes (GH Ltd).

The information to be provided, include the export documents, commercial invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin and freight invoice, among others.

At a media briefing in Accra on its implementation, Mr Nti said effective today, importer whose imports, from records exceeds 36, 20 foot equivalent Units (TEUs) per year would be required to obtain a CTN Number in the country of export.

“This means that any importer who Imports less than 36 TEUs (20 footer container) or 18 (4O footer container) per year is exempted from CTN compliance”, saying such importers are not required to obtain CTN from the country of export.

He also said businesses that import more than 36 TEUs, that is, more than 36 pieces of 20 footer container or 18 (40 footer containers) per year but can demonstrate that the nature of their imports and their turnovers make them small importers will also be exempted.

“These exemptions are to ensure that our small and medium scale importers, mostly small traders, market women and men, small distributors, and other small to medium businesses are free from the requirements of this intervention.”

He said by introducing CTN, the Authority seeks to improve its services by aligning its operations along with trade facilitation and security recommendations by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO); and also in accordance with new standards for international cooperation between member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“By implementing the CTN system, Customs is seeking to modernise its operations to facilitate the movement of legitimate trade in line with international best practices”, he added.

The Commissioner-General mentioned that under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, GRA in partnership with Messrs Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) Ghana Limited announced the introduction of CTN module to Ghana and programmed it to be implemented effective 1st February, 2018, but it was subsequently suspended and re-introduced to be run on a pilot basis for three months from 1st July, 2018.

He said, the pilot, which ran for two months up to August 2018 revealed the level of revenue leakages in the present Customs Verification of documents, classification and valuation.

He said ‘following further concerns raised by our key stakeholders, the President directed the suspension of the implementation of the pilot to allow for broader consultations amongst the stakeholders and GRA.’

Mr Nti noted that trade malpractices, the CTN seeks to cure included; undervaluation of shipment, concealment of higher rated products, deliberate misclassification of shipments by importers, manipulation of details of Port of Origin, volume /weight misrepresentation, using a lower rated product to hide a shipment of a higher rated product and over invoicing of shipment.

He said these and many more showed the extent of revenue leakages which had contributed in no small measure to the poor revenue performance at the ports, saying the GRA therefore saw CTN as a solution to the identified trade malpractices relative to classification and valuation.

Some of the benefits of the CTN, he said included; reliable trade data base, reliable and transparent data validation source, real-time trade data, opportunity for short turn-around time for clearance at the ports, and reduction in costs at the ports since payment of demurrage fees would be a thing of the past.

He stated that the CTN provided benefits not to only to GRA, but other agencies including; CUSTOMS DIVISION, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade, Ministry Of Interior And Defence, National Development Planning, Association of Ghana Industries, among others.

Source: GNA

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