ACCRA– Ghana has announced plans to implement the First Port Duty Rule at the country’s ports by the end of the year to tackle increasing incidence of smuggling arising from diverted goods in transit supposedly bound for neighbouring landlocked countries.
Under the First Port Duty Rule, Customs officials from the landlocked nations would be stationed at Ghana’s ports and importers would be directed to the appropriate country desk to pay the required duties if indeed the good are in transit through Ghana.
The move has become necessary because studies have shown that many goods intended for transit to the landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are either unloaded and sold in Ghana or smuggled through unapproved routes, thereby depriving both Ghana and the intended final destination countries the needed duties.
Vice-President Bawumia made the announcement at the opening of the 39th Council and Conference of Ports Management Associations of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) in Accra on Monday. The four-day meeting is being held under the theme, Best Practices in the Management of Ports Lands.
The PMAWCA is an inter-regional economic organization with members stretching from Mauritania and Cape Verde down south to Angola, including landlocked countries.
Experts and stakeholders in the maritime industry will be deliberating on challenges facing the sector, share ideas and profess appropriate solutions, as well as respond to the changing dynamics of the sector.
So much smuggling is taking place through transit trade to neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Not only does Ghana lose, the other countries also lose revenue when unapproved routes are used, the vice-president noted.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK