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Ghana: Shippers' Council reaffirms commitment to facilitate tradeFriday, September 26, 2014 > 10:28:50
The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to facilitate trade for the benefit of importers and exporters.
It however warned importers and exporters that the importation of prohibited goods or counterfeit would face punitive action in accordance with the relevant provisions pertaining to the customs code.
Dr. Kofi Mbiah, GSA Chief Executive Officer, said this in Accra to officially announce the repeal of an embargo placed on the entry of non-ECOWAS cargo through the land borders of Cote d’Ivoire.
“The GSA is pleased to inform shippers and other economic operators along the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire transit corridor that the directive by the Ivorian Government to place an embargo on the entry of Non-ECOWAS cargo through its land borders has been repealed,” Dr Mbiah stated.
He therefore appealed to shippers, freight forwarders and other economic operators along the Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire transit corridor to continue transacting their legitimate business without hesitation.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Dr Mbiah explained that the repeal was the result of negotiations with the Ivorian authorities on the issue nd commended the Ivorian authorities for their cooperation.
He said the GSA also engaged the Ivorian Shipper’s Council which led to the repeal of the directives.
The Ivorian authorities issued the directive in May this year and this led to the holding up of over 60 cargo trucks at the Elubo/Noe Border for over two months.
The situation caused congestion and apprehension among shippers, freight forwarders, cargo truck owners and other operators at the border.
It also affected the business of freight forwarders, the livelihood of truck drivers and their conductors and business dealings between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire while the congestion at the border also had negative environmental implications.
Dr Mbiah said the negative impact on the business of Ghanaian shippers and the facilitation of trade in the sub-region prompted the GSA to adopt a two-pronged approach to tackle the problem.
He said the GSA, backed by the Ministry of Transport and in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration sent a delegation to Abidjan to engage the Ivorian authorities.
He said another delegation toured the Elubo/Noe Border to access the impact of the implementation of the directives and engage the implementing agencies at the borders.
Dr Mbiah said as a result of the engagements, the Ivorian Authorities issued a three- month moratorium order which expired at the end of August and this provided a temporary reprieve to shippers and other economic operators.
This enabled the trucks at the Elubo/Noe Border to enter Cote d’Ivoire for normal business.
“The GSA further intervened through its counterpart; the Ivorian Shippers’ Council not only resulted in an extension of the moratorium to September but a repeal of the directive by the Ivorian authorities, thereby bringing closure to the matter,” he said.
He therefore commended all stakeholders for joining forces to bring the matter to an end.