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Ghana: Trade Minister worried about handling of importers, exportersMonday, January 12, 2015 > 09:40:14
The Minister of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has raised issues with the way agencies operating at the Tema and Takoradi ports handle importers and exporters.
He, particularly, raised concerns about the current rigorous system of clearing goods at the ports and stressed that “these frustrating systems could affect investor confidence.”
The minister said this when he met 14 agencies operating at the seaports in Accra last Wednesday to discuss issues concerning clearing of goods at the ports.
The three-hour meeting was attended by representatives from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS), Ghana Airport Company Limited and other agencies under his ministry.
Some private import and export companies were also present to voice out what they described as the daily frustrations they encounter at the hands of these agencies.
The companies complained that they had to go through laborious processes to clear their goods, adding that they had to encounter over 23 different points before being allowed access to clear their goods.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said it was the intention of MOTI to put in place efficient mechanisms to ensure that goods at the various ports were cleared without any difficulty.
According to him, that system would not only pave the way for efficiency at the ports, but also enhance Ghana’s image at the global level.
Dr Spio-Garbrah observed that the government invested huge resources to boost the trade and industry sector, adding that it was doing its best to secure private investment at the Tema Port.
He, therefore, stressed the need for effective coordination between agencies operating at the ports in order to address the challenges faced by import and export companies.
The Chief Executive Officer of Carloking Services, an international freight forwarding agency, Mr Kingsley Ahenkorah, said importers and exporters encountered numerous challenges in clearing their goods from the ports.
According to him, some importers, out of frustration, abandon their containers at the ports.
“I could count about 23 different points that importers have to go through to clear their goods. This is frustrating,” Mr Ahenkorah stated.