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Good Governance Advocacy Group calls for suspension of Cargo Tracking Notes

BY: Prince Acquah
Mr Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku — Executive Director of GGAGG
Mr Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku — Executive Director of GGAGG

Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG), a public governance institution, has given the government a one-week ultimatum to suspend the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes policy because it is not favouring stakeholders, especially freight forwarders.

According to the group, should government fail to heed to its call, it would be forced to petition relevant international bodies such as the ECOWAS, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Maritime Bureau International on the matter.

The Executive Director of GGAGG, Mr Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku, said the implementation of the policy was an illegality because it was being executed by ‘a wrong institution’ and was also not backed by law.

Meanwhile, the Tema High Court last week dismissed a legal challenge which sought to halt the implementation of the CTN.

A freight forwarder, John Kwame Adu Jack, had filed an order of interlocutory injunction seeking to stop the CTN from being implemented pending the final determination of his suit challenging the policy.

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But the court, presided over by, Justice John Eugene Nyante Nyadu, in a ruling stated that Adu Jack failed to raise any ‘serious question of law’ to warrant any right for an order of interlocutory injunction.

GGAGG had earlier on December 22, 2018 petitioned the President to take a second look at the policy because it was not in good taste.

Illegality

Addressing a press conference in Accra last Monday, Mr Kusi-Poku argued that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which was the implementing body, was not mandated by law to undertake the project which was reserved for the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA).

“Ghana Revenue Authority by law established, is not an independent or autonomous body.

It is under the regulations of Parliament of Ghana.

Hence, staff of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) cannot be laws onto themselves without recourse to the Parliament of Ghana where they draw their mandate from,” he said.

He added that it was for GSA to implement the policy and furnish GRA with data of shippers to facilitate a smooth process and accelerate the processes of release and clearance of goods.

“So if GRA has no mandate per the law and is trying to implement a policy that is not a revenue collection policy, then we have to go into it and find out why,” he said.

He said the GRA should seek ratification from Parliament if it insisted on implementing the policy.

Revenue loss

Mr Kusi-Poku asserted that Ghana had lost a whopping GH¢2.8 billion in a period of less than one year due to the wrongful implementation of the CTN.

He said the policy had increased the cost of doing business at the ports, a situation which he added had led countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso that hitherto transited their cargoes in Ghana, to divert their shipments to Togo.