ECOWAS in 1982 brought up a protocol that says every country should appoint one institution to serve as a guarantor for the country.
In Ghana, the government of Ghana appointed State Insurance Company (SIC) as the guarantor.
The work of the national guarantor is to serve as security to the GRA against the loss of revenue for all cargo passing through Ghana to the neighbouring countries.
“The work of the guarantor is to provide a form of guarantee against loss of revenue to the state”.
“What this means that customs of the country in which the goods are passing through are not expected to charge duties on them. And for them to be able to ensure that they don’t lose out in terms of the goods finding their way into the market which is not supposed to be, grant exemptions to the transistors, and in granting these exemptions, somebody must state or guarantee customs that they would not lose duties and taxes, and if you lose them, I am here to support,” representatives of SIC, Anthony Osei-Ntiamoah, and Adelaide Fiavor, said respectively.
Speaking to reporters on the side-lines of a Borderless Alliance conference in Mali, representatives of the SIC said the role of the national guarantor has been bedeviled with some challenges.
The SIC representatives bemoaned instances where goods meant for the transit market ended up on the Ghanaian market.
Adelaide Fiavor, Head of Broker Relations, SIC, said, “In doing work with customs, usually the monitoring is done by all the stakeholders, including SIC. If it is found in Ghana, if they are arrested, they didn’t find their way in the market. But in any case, customs still works with SIC. If customs loses any duties on those, and they were not able find the goods, supposing the goods were sold and duties were not paid, SIC would have to pay and go after the transitors.”
This, they said is made possible when transit truck drivers deliberately delay on the road for the batteries of the tracking devices fixed on the trucks to go off.
Anthony Osei Ntiamoah, Head, Inter-State Road Transit, SIC, also said, “When drivers leave Tema Port, they have 7 days to exit Ghana, if they are going to Burkina Faso. Knowing these tracking devices run on batteries, some of them with the intention to divert, park somewhere till the batteries die down. When they die down it is difficult to track these vehicles.”
They also identified the use of fake names by importers as a major challenge to the work of the national guarantor.
“We also have the problem of fake importers. We have the situation where Ghanaians would use names of people who do not exist, with the intention to divert,” he added.
They assured that the SIC will continue its collaboration with agencies like the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Customs, national security at the various exit points to prevent the loss of revenue to the state.
“We are in close collaboration with customs because both of us have interests at stake, so there is always that constant collaboration, where we can close the loopholes, we do that”.
They stressed the need for a single national guarantee system to reduce the cost of doing business on the Ghanaian corridor.