Exactly one year on from when the policy was first announced, processes to commence the implementation of the First Port Rule policy directive are far advanced into the final stage, as the e-application for the smooth implementation is set to be rolled out by the end of June, this year.
This is on the back of the integration of processes and systems between Ghana and its neighboring countries to facilitate the smooth implementation of the directive.
The policy was first announced by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia at the 39th Council Meeting and Conference of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa in Accra in June 2018.
The policy intervention forms part of efforts to deepen trade facilitation and enhance revenue mobilization while effectively addressing loss of revenue due to diversion of goods in transit to Ghana’s neighbours to the local market.
In an interview with Goldstreet Business, the Product Development Manager at the Ghana Community Network (GCNet), Carl A. Sackey said, “we would pilot a few products, for instance, four of them, for which they will pay duties in the expected destination country.”
However, this will be preceded by stakeholder engagements which should ensure the sensitization of all parties involved, and which should be completed this week.
The expected outcome is that transit goods that are routed through Ghana’s ports at Tema and Takoradi end up at their right destination ports other and the appropriate duties are paid on them.
Thus, it is expected that the policy will discourage diversion of goods which results in the non-payment of duties and taxes.
GCNet is currently facilitating the integration of processes and systems between the Burkina Faso customs and the Ghana Customs.
Similarly, a transit data exchange programme has been held between the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and its Ivorian counterpart to boost the business competitiveness of both countries.
Analysts believe that to enhance international trade between Ghana and its immediate neighbouring trading partners, it is imperative that Ghana follows in the footsteps of Kenya and Tanzania who are already benefiting from the execution of a similar policy initiative, known as the Inter Country Data Exchange on Transit.