The policy, which was expected to be rolled out on September 1, 2018 was postponed following agitations from some stakeholders in the industry.
The Stakeholders led by the Joint Committee of Freight Forwarder Associations made up of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana and the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana protested and embarked on a strike, voicing their opposition to the implementation of the policy.
They halted the payment of duty to the Customs Division of the GRA from Monday 27th August, 2018 to Wednesday 29th August to register their displeasure against the policy.
But the GRA on Thursday, 30th September, 2018 issued a public notice announcing the postponement.
The notice which was signed by the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti said: “following consultations between government and key stakeholders, the Commissioner-General wishes to inform the Trading Public, Importers, Freight Forwarders, Shipping Lines and other stakeholders that the effective date for the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes has been rescheduled to 15th October 2018.
“The postponement of the implementation date is to allow for the following:
- More consultation and sensitization of all stakeholders with the view to build and deepen understanding and consensus;
- To address all concerns raised by the Trading Community before the new date of the implementation of the CTN.
The Commissioner-General also announced the following:
- There will be no fees or charges applicable to importers or shippers in Ghana or elsewhere associated with the implementation of the CTN now or in the future.
- Any fees charged to any importer so far in association with the implementation of the CTN will be reimbursed by the Ghana Revenue Authority
- The Ghana Revenue Authority will inform all shippers abroad from today that the “No CTN No Load” policy is rescheduled until October 15th.
“The Commissioner-General takes this opportunity to express his gratitude to all stakeholders for their cooperation,” the notice added.
Following this announcement, the trading community as well as the shipping lines have welcomed the decision.
The Vice President of the Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana (SOAAG) Adam Imoro Ayarna said the announcement has brought relief to the shipping lines and stressed the for government to hasten slowly in the implementation of the policy in order not interfere in the free flow of international trade.
The Executive Secretary of Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samspon Asaki Awingobit thanked the President for taking the bold decision to suspend the CTN policy.
He said businesses are ready to engage Customs on the way forward.
The District President of the Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, Emmanuel Gadzepko called for the total abrogation of the CTN since it will only increase the cost of doing business in the country.