CTN system implementation: GRA in contravention of Ghana laws – GGAGG
The Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) has described as “fraudulent, robbery, defrauding by false pretenses, stealing and causing of financial loss to the state” the decision by Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to implement Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) system at the country’s seaports.
The Customs Excise and Preventive Service of GRA last year decided to implement the CTN system which is used globally after realizing that some importers provide inadequate information on their goods making it difficult for the Customs division to correctly verify the goods that are brought in, the volumes, weight, among others.
By adopting the CTN system into Ghana, Customs said it was seeking to modernize its operations to facilitate the movement of legitimate trade in line with international best practices.
Under the new system, exporters the world over, shipping cargo to Ghana will be expected to provide detailed and timely information about their shipment in advance on the global online platform.
Commenting on the implementation, GGAGG said although the CTN is good, it is not supposed to be implemented by GRA and CTN Ghana Limited which has no connection with the World Trade Organisation platforms such as World Customs Organisation (WCO), International Criminal Police Organisation ICPO, International Maritime Organisation IMO and World Bank.
The group intimates that GRA is in that regard usurping the powers and functions of the Ghana Shipper’ Authority.
"It is instructive to mention that there is no Legislative Instrument (L.I) from the Parliament of Ghana that mandates Ghana Revenue Authority to execute such a project let alone sign a contract to that effect," says GGAGG.
"In view of the above-stated fact, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has no such mandate to sign such a contract to blatantly breach a Ghana Shippers’ Authority Regulation, 2012 Legislative Instrument (LI 2190) that gives Ghana Shippers Authority only the mandate to carry out such dutie.
"Ghana Shippers’ Authority has signed a legally binding contract between themselves and a company called Antaser Afrique. By the signing of a new contract between Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and CTN Ghana Limited, it is deduced that the first legally signed contract is being abrogated by Government of Ghana (GoG).
"This action can trigger a legal suit against the Republic which can lead to payment of a whopping Judgement Debt since the first company has incurred a huge cost at the preparatory stage to facilitate the commencement of the implementation of the WTO/TFA project" it adds.
GGAGG says it finds GRA's decision to implement CTN as a means of among other things, "forming a syndicate to transact, pursue and promote a dubious transaction at Ghana seaports."
Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku, Executive Director of GGAGG insists President Akufo-Addo should as a matter of urgency halt the implementation and set up a body to investigate the issue.
He says: "We have drawn the President’s attention to the need to institute a review or assessment into the motive behind the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) by Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and not Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and commence an internal investigation into our accusations and act accordingly to curtail the illegalities therein.
"The President and his office have been misled by some highly dishonest persons who are appointees of the President and some private persons, whom we have petitioned CHRAJ and accused them of perpetrating illegalities.”
Below is a statement GGAGG released earlier