Suspend implementation of Container Tracking Note,GUTA tells govt

BY: Beatrice Laryea
Dr Joseph Obeng (with microphone) addressing the media. Looking on are some dignitaries
Dr Joseph Obeng (with microphone) addressing the media. Looking on are some dignitaries

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has appealed to the government to suspend the implementation of the Container Tracking Note (CTN), a mandatory note, for clearing goods at the ports.

It said there was the need for further consultations with relevant stakeholders on the CTN, which is enforced by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in order to achieve the purpose for its implementation.

At a press conference held in Accra yesterday, the President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng, who spoke on behalf of the members of the association, also requested the government to ensure that the deadline for foreign retailers to stop their trading activities was strictly enforced as intended on Friday, July 27, 2018.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Law 1994 (Act 478) debars foreigners from engaging in retail trade until they satisfy certain requirements stated in Section 27 (1A) of the act.

Dr Obeng said since the promulgation of the Act 478, state authorities had failed to supervise and monitor the activities of non-Ghanaians operating in the retail sector.

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He said the strict enforcement of the law with appropriate punitive sanctions must be meted out to any non-Ghanaian who was not certified under the GIPC Law and who would be found operating in retail trade after the expiration of the period given.

Activities of foreign retailers

Dr Obeng said the activities of foreign retailers in the country were making life unbearable for Ghanaian retailers.

“We find it difficult to understand why our leaders — both current and past — sit and look on unconcerned when they know very well that some foreigners in this sector of the economy are flouting our laws, which is tantamount to trigging conflict in the country.

“We wish to caution the authorities, including the National Security, that after the deadline, expectations of the trading community will be very high on the enforcement of the law and any delay or failure in that regard can cause a serious havoc to the country as members of the public can no longer trust the authorities and the laws of the country.”

“Owing to this, we will like to take this opportunity to appeal to all foreign missions in Ghana to advise their nationals resident in Ghana to respect and comply with our laws as it is always done in their home countries in order for them to enjoy the peace and tranquillity in the country.”


Regarding the Container Tracking Note (CTN), Dr Obeng mentioned that it was absurd for the GRA to publicise the implementation of the policy effective July 1, 2018 without regard for the concerns of relevant stakeholders, especially after the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, per a statement released on Monday, May 28, 2018, had suspended the implementation of the CTN.

“We the business community can no longer contend with the very unpredictable environment that has been nurtured by what seems to us as a policy implementation not well thought out such as the Tax Stamp, Fumigation, UNIPASS, Easy Pass, Common External Tariffs (CET) and now CTN,” he said.

“We, therefore, want to make it clear that since the CTN is being introduced primarily for the purpose of valuation, we presume that it will have succeeded in solving the authenticity of transactional values; hence, our resolve not to allow the usage of the so-called benchmark value or any discretion on the part of the implementers,” he added.

National identification

The GUTA, however, commended the government for the ongoing Ghana Card registration, which would help the country to identify and know its citizens and non-citizens.

“GUTA wishes to declare its unflinching support for the project due to its immeasurable importance to the national economy, security, proper data collation and social development.

“We also seize the opportunity to appeal to the National Identification Authority, National Security operatives and all Ghanaians to be very vigilant and expose foreigners, especially those from the sub-region, as well as those who engage in illegal retail trade and other activities who may take advantage of the exercise to deceive the authorities and acquire the national identity card and use it for dubious activities,” Dr Obeng said.