Joint Customs Consultative Committee meeting held for stakeholders in port business

Customs Committee Meeting 22.png Attendees of the joint Customs Consultative Committee engagement in a photo

Mon, 18 Sep 2023 Source: Eye on Port

A joint Customs Consultative Committee engagement has been held in Tema bringing together stakeholders in the Port business to channel the challenges faced in their daily operations in the Port.

The open forum gave the opportunity to the port stakeholders to register their concerns, displeasure, or otherwise on current events in the industry.

Stakeholders present at the event include Customs, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, terminal operators, regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drugs Authority, the various freight forwarding associations among others.

Key among the issues discussed are clearance processes of general goods and cars, the excise tax stamp, the Upfront VAT system, the Warehousing Regime, the Transit Regime, and other compliance-related issues.

The Chief Revenue Officer, in charge of System Administration, Esther Amekudzi provided clarification on why agents are blocked in the system.

“I talk about blocking the importer and blocking the customs house agent, but people come and say but why are you blocking the agent as well because the agent was only clearing for the importer. The issue is that you the customs house agent, are carrying out a fiduciary duty for the importer,” she explained.

The Marketing and Public Affairs Manager at the Port of Tema, Abena Serwaa Opoku-Fosu, revealed that Terminal 2 in the Port has been secured as a freight station to facilitate clearance.

“One of the things that we have been able to do that we are very thankful for under the leadership of the current Assistant Commissioner in Tema, is that we have finally been able to secure Terminal 2 as a freight station and there are conditions to be fulfilled.

The first is that we should set up the office we have done about 80% refurbishment of the old Terminal 2 so that we can accommodate the Custom Officers who will be assigned there, and this is good news because it would cut the cost for a lot of people,” she revealed.

The Director of Imports and Exports at the Food and Drugs Authority touched on unregistered products and the need for all importers to register their products before importing them.

“If you bring in unregistered products what it means is that you have breached the law, by that it means the product you are bringing in, you have not had the opportunity of guaranteeing the safety to consumers. So, if you could observe, in June FDA strengthened this particular policy to ensure that will improve on that,” he said.

The Chairman of the Tema Branch of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Johnny Mantey, described the Joint Customs Consultative Committee platform as a problem-solving platform.

“We look at JCCC as the solution center because it started somewhere in about six or seven years ago. I can say about 96% or 97% of the problems or issues that we have put on the platform are resolved so we are very proud of this platform,” he stated.

Source: Eye on Port