The Association of freight forwarders operating at the Tema Port has threatened to lay down their tools on Monday, August 27, 2018, if the government fails to scrap the cargo tracking note system.
They say the system, when introduced will increase the cost of transacting business at the port.
The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah who addressed the media at a press conference said freight forwarders at the port would not relent until the cargo tracking note system is scrapped.
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â€œWe have stated that we are going to stop work if nothing is done between now and Â Monday 27th of August 2018â€¦â€ he said.
Meanwhile the President of the Chamber of Freight and Trade, Dennis Amfo Sefa has described the threats by freight forwarders as unfortunate.
He believes the cargo tracking note system is a policy worth implementing.
He argued that Ghanaians would suffer if freight forwarders decide not to clear their goods from the port.
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â€œWell, Iâ€™m sad because that is the saddest thing a citizen of this country will say. If you do not pay the duty today, you will pay tomorrow. If you do not pay this week, you pay next week. The problem you will cause the importer is that you are going to find him paying a lot of demurrages and rent. Demurrages will accrue, and rent will accrue, and any importer who pays demurrages or rent automatically will put it on the commodity and the ordinary Ghanaian will bear the cost. We believe that this is not the way to go.
Cargo Tracking Note System
The Cargo Tracking Note, CTN is a platform by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for collection and management of commercials and logistical information relating to the cargo and ship from port of loading.
The platform would allow shipments to Ghana (transit cargo included), Shippers/Exporters/Forwarders at the various Ports of Loading around the world obtain a validated CTN number using the global online platform provided and submit same together with Shipping Instructions (SI) to their Shipping Lines.
Each Bill of Lading is also required to be covered by a valid CTN number.
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Shipping Lines are required to insert the unique CTN number on both the Bill of Lading and Cargo Manifest and Shipments not covered by a valid CTN number will not be cleared through Customs in Ghana and fines may apply.
The CTN is expected to provide data to Ghana Customs and other stakeholders well in advance to enable Cargo Review Processes in a manner that ensures the Generation of key prior shipment in â€œreal timeâ€ to effectively Control, Supervise and Manage import traffic into Ghana.
The platform among other reasons aims to safeguard and facilitation trade in order to significantly reduce the turnaround time for Cargo Clearance which in turn will allow importers to avoid the payment of heavy demurrage fees and generally reduce the cost of doing business.
The GRA says the introduction of CTN is in furtherance of the drive to modernize its operations for facilitation of legitimate trade in line with international best practices.