Business News of 2014-04-25

ECOWAS Brown Card fraught with forgeries

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Bureau of the ECOWAS Brown Card Secretariat, managers of the ECOWAS Brown Card initiative has been fraught with forgeries.

Mr Gabriel Glover, the CEO, says the situation is causing challenges to the effective management of the insurance scheme in the sub-region. The ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme is a common system for the settlement of claims arising from international motor vehicle traffic accidents.

The initiative is expected to lead to a desirable harmonization between member countries to the protocol of the laws and regulations governing liability in respect to motor vehicle accident.

Mr Glover said the existence of the fake Brown Cards is defeating the purpose of the scheme since victims of motor accidents caused by holders of fake Brown Cards cannot be compensated.

The fake cards also make the scheme lose huge income, according to the Brown Card Secretariat’s CEO. Mr Gabriel Glover made the disclosure at a one-day stakeholder capacity workshop recently held at the Tema Shippers' Council Auditorium.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana National Bureau of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme, the organisation responsible for coordinating the activities of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme in Ghana.

The workshop, which aimed at sensitising stakeholders on the role of the security agencies and transport stakeholders in the implementation of the scheme, the features of the new secured ECOWAS Brown Card, and claims procedures, was attended by representatives from the Transport Unions, Officers from Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Road Safety Commission and the Ghana Police Service.

Opening the workshop, Mr Gabriel Glover said: “The Bureau recognizes the role of Transport stakeholders, and the Security Agencies as partners of the scheme in safeguarding our citizens and promoting trade in the sub-region”.

He added “the main objective of the Scheme is to ensure prompt and fair compensation to victims of motor accidents caused by non-citizen motorist visiting their territory from other ECOWAS members States. Hence, the system guarantees a motor insurance cover which leads to the realisation of the free movement objectives of ECOWAS”.

The CEO revealed that the scheme has been successful in Coutonou, Benin, since a new card was launch in that country in October 2011. The new Brown Card, a single leaflet, has security features that cannot be seen with the unaided eye.

The new card is an improved certificate which is expected to curb the used of fake Brown Cards in the sub-region.

He therefore appealed to law enforcement agencies to check the validity of Brown Cards presented to them motorists crossing into Ghana or exiting since it is a security a risks to allow a vehicle without valid cover of insurance into the country.

He also urged the motorists not to cross the borders without acquiring a brown card from their insurance companies “because it is for their own protection”.

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