Ghanaian exporters pay full duties to AfCFTA member countries
Some African countries are still demanding full export duties from Ghanaian exporters trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This is three years after the commencement of the pilot phase of trading under the continental free trade agreement involving eight countries, including Ghana, Cameroun, Kenya, Egypt, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania and Tunisia.
However, Ghana has waived duties on imported goods under the trade agreement.
The Head of Export at the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Charles Arthur Ntiri, who made this known when he interacted with journalists after opening of the 8th media seminar on shipping and logistics by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Accra last Wednesday, stated that the situation was unfair and had been reported to the AfCFTA Secretariat for redress.
“The issue we have now is that we started under the guided trade arrangement but when our (Ghanaian) goods arrive in the other countries, they are not recognising them rather they demand full payment of duties.’’
Certificate of origin
Mr Ntiri noted that so far 98 certificates of origin to 55 Ghanaian firms have successfully registered with the GNCCI to secure certifications of origin that will enable them to start trading under AfCFTA.
A certificate of origin is a document which attests that a product listed has met certain criteria to be considered as originating from a particular country.
It is issued by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and approved by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The 8th Media Seminar on the theme “Contemporary trends and developments in Ghana’s shipping and logistics industry,” was aimed at bringing to the fore the speedy evolvement of the shipping and logistics sector as one of the key drivers of the socio-economic development of the country.
It brought together representatives from selected media houses and the executives of the Ghana Journalists Association.
The Chief Executive Officer of GSA, Benonita Bismarck, said the freight rates negotiated by the GSA for 2023 and 2024 business years were hailed by the Committee of Freight Forwarders Association (CoFFA) because it reflected a deep understanding of the needs of the shipper.
She said the GSA recognised the media as an indispensable stakeholder in its mission to effectively protect and promote the interest of shippers in Ghana.
This was because providing the information on the appropriate processes, regulations, laws and requirements along the entire value chain to shippers regularly would save the shippers money and time and help them not to flout the laws.
The strong partnership between the GSA and the media, she said, would help the GSA in its pursuit of protecting and promoting the interest of shippers in Ghana in relation to sea, land, rail and air transport.
The seminar, she said, would equip and empower the media to take up the numerous positive developments of the authority in the sector to the world, particularly highlighting the role GSA continued to play in ensuring the sector remained a viable propeller of socio-economic well-being for shippers, the government and the citizenry of the country.