Business News of 2014-01-13

Moves to decongest ports

The Special Operations Unit at the Presidency has intensified decongestion of all ports of entry and warned that goods that are not cleared within the stipulated 30 days for general goods and 21 days for perishable goods will be disposed of through public auction.
The Spokesperson for the unit, Dr Clement Apaak, told journalists in Accra that the unit had already placed some of the goods on the uncleared cargo list and gazetted some of them since the beginning of January 2014.
He said the consignees or their agents would require permits before they could clear the goods within the 30 or 21 days’ expiry period.
Dr Apaak, who is also a presidential staffer, explained that the procedure was that such goods would first be placed on the uncleared cargo list and gazetted.
He said after the 30 or 21-day expiry period, the uncleared goods or cargo would be disposed of through public auction and allocations in accordance with existing laws and regulations governing overstayed goods and cargo.
Dr Apaak asked consignees, importers and agents "to strictly take note and adhere to these warnings or hold themselves blameable".
He said some people used the name of the President to defraud some consignees. The presidential staffer, therefore, cautioned consignees, importers and agents not to deal with unscrupulous persons who might try to defraud them by posing as members of the Special Operations Unit or as staff at the Presidency.
He asked importers to report such unscrupulous individuals to the appropriate authorities for them to be arrested and dealt with.
He warned that anybody found in the act of defrauding importers would be dealt with according to the law.
Special Operations Unit
The Special Operations Unit was set up by President John Dramani Mahama and is led by the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani.
In the latter part of 2013, the unit uncovered duty fraud involving more than 250 state agencies and private companies.
The companies were said to have managed to escape payment of approximately $367 million import duties at bonded warehouses between 2005 and 2012 by conniving with officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
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