Prices of some imported consumer goods like rice and sugar have gone up because of the introduction of the ECOWAS common external tariffs.

Members of the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana say the new tax system which took effect from February 1 2016 has resulted in some taxes paid on some goods go up, although the prices of other consumer goods have come down.

The Common External Tariff is one of the instruments of harmonizing ECOWAS Member States and strengthening its Common Market.

Article 3 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty defines the aims of the community as promoting “co-operation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa.”

Speaking on Business Trends Wednesday, a member of the Association John Awuni says most importers were compelled to pass on the new tariff on to consumer.

He said the new tariff would be bad for business.

However, Chief Revenue Officer at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA),  Saidu Yakubu, who also spoke on the same programme, rejected suggestions the introduction of the tariff will affect businesses negatively.

He said the tariff will not bring about increase on all goods.

According to him while the new ECOWAS tariff will cause an increase in some goods, for others it will cause their prices to go down – insisting the tariff not bring an automatic increase on all goods.

President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum Akwaboah, says more needs to be done to ensure that local industries are protected from the debilitating effects of such tariffs.