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Don’t increase port charges in 2021 — Importers, exporters

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has appealed to the government not to increase port clearance charges in 2021.

The Executive Secretary, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Mr Samson Awingobit Asaki, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said, “We don’t want to see additional charges or any new taxes; we want a reduction rather”.

Mr Asaki said with Accra becoming a commercial centre due to the location of the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Ghana, their association was expecting to see more cargo passing through the country’s ports and, therefore, the need to maintain existing port charges to attract more vessels.

On the impact of the introduction of the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) and the paperless system on goods clearance, he said tremendous improvement was seen in the clearance of goods, especially in 2020 after the introduction of ICUMS.

He indicated that because the new system was end-to-end which processed documents and payment through a single window, it made clearing of goods faster as an agent could start the process before the cargo reached the country, reducing cost and payment of demurrages.

He added that with the new system, importers could easily check from the system where their cargo had reached, as well as the processes it had gone without the help of the agent by putting in the Bill of Entry (BOE) code, a process which ensured transparency.

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