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We're highly disappointed in gov't for deceiving us over CTN & Killer Taxes-Freight Forwarders

Written by  Oct 11, 2018
The Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana has reiterated the need for government to review the taxes charged at country’s ports. They are demanding an overhaul of the revenue collection systems at the various ports in the country. Technical member of the association, Kweku Otchere Darko in an interview said, the development is affecting their businesses. He told Rainbow Radio’s Kwame Tutu that attempts to reduce the taxes over the years have been unsuccessful. There are a number of taxes charged at the ports currently one of them is the Common External Tariff which was enacted in 2016, it repealed the Harmonized System and Customs Tariff Schedule 2012, there is also import duties which range between 0 and 35 percent depending on the nature of item imported. Others are VAT and NHIL of 17.5 percent and special import levy among others. He stressed, the taxes must be reduced to ease the burden they are currently facing as well as achieve tax compliance. He said, although the president established a committee to engage importers, the implementation and report are gathering dust. Freight Forwards in August this year laid down their tools to protest against the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) system at the ports. The action they said was necessitated by the government’s failure to heed concerns on the policy, which impedes trade facilitation. The CTN requires importers to provide real time information on all consignments to Ghana to a global monitoring platform. Mr Otchere Darko maintained the CTN is an illegality and although government pledge to bear the cost, it has redirected shippers and freight forwarders to bear the cost. Government has backtracked on its decision to absorb the cost of the cargo tracking note (CTN) when the implementation of the module starts on October 15, 2018. This, however, means that shippers or importers are now to pay for fees or charges applicable to the CTN module contrary to an initial pledge by the government to absorb the cost. Meanwhile, importers, led by a Joint Business Consultative Forum (JBCF), have petitioned President Akufo-Addo expressing their displeasure at the proposed date for the implementation. “We appeal to the President to consider the difficulties and confusion that the implementation of the CTN will bring to bear on the business community,” the petition stated. The petition further said, CTN as a module could never be implemented at the country’s borders where goods were not packed in containers but were carried by vehicles and most of the time by head potters without manifest or bill of laden. “The CTN by this is, therefore, targeted at a section of the importing community who uses the mainstream sea ports and this is definitely not fair-trade. “We are very much aware also in this regard that over 50 per cent of imported goods into the country are exempted from the payment of duties and taxes. We are by this making it clear that there is no fairness with the whole tax system, since it is only the few compliant ones that are shouldering the tax burden. “We in the business community hereby state that such a porous system should not be imposed and, therefore, advise the government not to consider its implementation,”
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