The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says it is yet to take a concrete stand on the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) to be effected by the government on October 15.
This is because members of the association are yet to come to terms with the essence of the introduction of the CTNs at the ports, as they still do not understand the concept of the CTN properly.
An executive of the association who spoke on anonymity confirmed to the Goldstreet Business in Accra on Thursday that the association’s Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Nana Opoku Acheampong’s decisions to abide by the directive was his personal decision and not a consensus by the entire group.
Confusion over policy acceptance
Meanwhile, sections of the media reported on Thursday that according to Mr. Acheampong, GUTA had decided to abide by the CTN policy directive from the GRA and the government.
He stated that the group was not yet in favour of the policy and the solo decision of the Deputy General Secretary has sparked confusion amongst members of the group.
Efforts by the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to introduce the CTN at the country’s ports to reduce revenue losses and under-declaration of goods has proven futile since march this year.
Cargo Tracking Note
The CTN is an official loading certificates number which confirms detailed information about cargo and its movements between ports.
Its implementation in Ghana is expected to serve as a risk assessment engine to allow the customs and other authorities to effectively control, supervise and manage import tariffs.
Effects of CTN on business
The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has also taken a though stands on the CTN policy over that past few months describing its implementation as a “monumental display of bad faith on the part of the government”.
The GUTA executive (name withheld) said the association is still in crunch meetings and negotiating with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure that the CTN is implemented in flexible terms.
According to him, there were already institutions doing exactly what the CTN seeks to do saying, ‘all the CTN will do is to give shippers a CTN pin code, which must be accessed by a freight forwarder before clearing goods at the port.’
He said though the government claims it will bear the cost of accessing a CTN, he was sure the CTN would add an extra cost of 500 dollars to the already existing cost before clearing a container.
“Doing business from the port has become very expensive and the CTN will demand that a fright forwarder contacts a shipper before clearing a container, and this will come with a cost,” he said.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey