Although importers and other parties insist the cost of doing business at the ports is still high, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah submits government has not increased import duties rather the state is being efficient in collecting revenue due it.
He said the ECOWAS Common External Tariff have been in session since 2017 and that the Finance Ministry together with the Ghana Revenue Authority are pairing to plug leaks in the system however pledging that a stakeholders forum is in the works with relevant parties to allay fears and calm nerves.
“There’s need to move away from bench marking valuation to a more efficient platform and transactional base database,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile Clement Boateng, the National Organiser of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says contrary to the minister’s claim, cost of doing business at the ports has shot up affecting their finances.
“The ECOWAS Common External Tariff has been increased from 25 percent to 35 percent in addition to other increments. We will be glad to prove the reality to the minister at the stakeholders’ engagement,” he rendered.
The Common External Tariff is one of the instruments of harmonising ECOWAS Member States and strengthening its Common Market.
ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government established an ECOWAS Customs’ Union. A common external tariff with a common terminology so that customs procedures are transparent, readily followed and delays at borders decreased.