The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says its opposition to the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) is infinite and any attempts by policy implementers to cunningly rope them into the CTN policy will be fiercely resisted.
Speaking at a press conference on the CTN policy in Accra on Thursday, Dr Joseph Obeng, President of GUTA said the business community, particularly importers, had and will always oppose any policy or system that caused delay, added cost and sought clearance before goods were shipped into the country.
CTN will complicate our work
The association, he said has observed that processes such as the transitional arrangements, registration for codes and exemptions, petition for upliftment of quotas, commencement is among some of the obvious challenges that will bring unnecessary bureaucracy, time wasting, lobbying and cost that may culminate in creating possible avenues for frustration and corruption.
He said it was for such reasons that GUTA vehemently opposed and called for the withdrawal of the Advanced Shipment Information System (ASHI) and the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) during the previous administration.
Make taxes affordable
He has therefore appealed to the government to make taxes very affordable to enable businesses gleefully comply with tax payments as their national obligations.
“In bringing in the CTN, small and medium scale traders who make up 95 percent of the business community have been exempted and state importers, who make the remaining five per cent but bring in the 70 percent of imports, have been shortlisted; we therefore will not accept any attempt to rope small businesses into the scheme in the future,” it stated.
Dr Obeng entreated all small and medium scale importers who have been duly exempted from the CTN to continue with their import process without any fear and immediately report any obstruction that may come their way for the necessary assistance.
He said the association loves Ghana and will support any effort of the government that will enhance revenue collection for national development.
The CTN is an official loading certificate 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.
The CTN was to be introduced on September 1, 2018, but after its earlier suspension, members of the business community, especially those in the informal sector have kicked against its implementation.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey