The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has explained that 35 per cent of all imports into Ghana will not be affected by the Cargo Tacking Notes (CTN).
This means that 65 per cent of all imports will be processed through CTN.
According to him, data reveal that the 35 per cent that will not be affected belongs to 95 per cent of importers.
On the other hand, the GRA boss said only five percent of importers bring in the 65 per cent of all imports to be affected by CTN.
Responding to questions on CTN at a media briefing in Accra yesterday, Nti assured the 95 per cent of importers, who will not be affected, that there would not be restrictions on their activities, such as securing a quota or code to be able to clear their goods.
This assurance follows protests from groups like the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), and the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana against the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes.
On the specific issue of why it was important for the new regime to be implemented, Nti said that the implementation of CTN was only in keeping with international best practice as prescribed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation Trade Facilitation and Security Recommendations.
The current roll out comes on the back of a pilot run in February of this year. He also revealed that the pilot run revealed certain trade practices, such as the undervaluation of shipment, concealment of higher rated products and misclassification of shipments by importers, over-invoicing of shipment, among others.
“These and many more showed the extent of revenue leakages which have contributed in no small measure to the poor revenue performance at the ports. GRA therefore sees CTN as a solution to these identified trade malpractices relative to classification and valuation”, he said.
He touted the benefits of CTN to several sectors to other institutions, such as the security agencies and the health ministry as they will be able track the movement of contraband goods into the country. It would also help the Ministry of finance to better forecast revenue.
Answering a question on why the commission was still going ahead to implement the cargo tracking notes policy, in spite of a court action which had been taken against the new policy, he said that the writ had not been handed to him personally, but the Commission’s legal team was looking at the legal issues.
On the question of punishment to people who will fail to comply with the CTN requirements, he said that though there was the possibility of prosecution, if an importer becomes noted for infringing on CTN requirements, they would be taken through the full hog of customs checks, thereby delaying their processing time and inhibiting their ability to trade freely, hindering their own business.