The vice president, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia has announced that the government is working towards introducing the first port duty rule by the end of the year.
The rule will allow neighbouring Custom authorities to have a presence in Ghana’s ports to allow the free movement of goods and the proper monitoring of port activities.
It will also provide an avenue for the duty of goods destined for Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to be paid in Ghana as a way of curbing smuggling.
The rule will also serve as a check on the dumping of goods destined for neighboruing countries in Ghana.
“This is a very good way for all countries. Ghana is committed to improving its ports and road corridors to enhance international trade with its trading partners.
We are therefore open to best examples and recommendations towards achieving these goals and I know that this meeting is going to come up with some very good examples and recommendations that we can look to follow.”
Dr Bawumia was speaking at the 39th Council Meeting and Conference of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa which is underway in Accra, from where Joy News’ Afua Evans-Chinery reports.
The case where importers avoid the payment of duties on their goods will no longer occur, with the introduction of the first port duty rule.
With the new rule, ports officials from neigbouring countries are expected to pitch camp at the Tema and Takoradi ports to check the movement of goods through Ghana.
Dr Bawumia, however, said measures being put in place to ensure the smooth running of ports will be fruitless if rules and regulations governing the rules are not adhered to.
He, therefore, appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to effectively ensure the enforcement of the axle road policy.
The policy mandates all member countries to limit a six-axle truck to a 60-tonne loading capacity.
“As you may be aware, Ghana has consistently complied and implemented this loading policy, since 2009 when the enforcement came into effect. The goal is to protect the road infrastructure in our sub-region.
“Unfortunately, it has been reported that not all other ECOWAS member countries are complying with this policy,” he lamented.
Failure to adhere to these measures, the Vice President noted undermines regional cooperation and creates an atmosphere of unfairness in transit trade on the various corridors in the sub-region.