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We Need To Manage Our Import Revenue Collection Well - Carlos Ahenkorah   
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Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah
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Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos Ahenkora is calling on all stakeholders in the import business to help Akufo-Addo’s government to efficiently manage the collection of the import revenue well, using the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy.

Import revenue is the second highest revenue generation point for the country’s economy apart from oil revenue; therefore the deputy Minister for Trade and Industry has expressed concern on the over-reliance on the import revenue as failure to manage its collection may affect the economy of the country.

Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' morning show, Hon. Carlos Ahenkora hinted that apart from oil revenue, import revenue was always the highest by 60 per cent in the ratio of total revenue generated in the economy.

"Unfortunately for us, we are over-reliance on import revenue. When we look at the import duties we take as a ratio of total revenue we generate in the economy, if not oil we have, import revenue was always the highest by 60 per cent, but today we are lucky to have oil and it is taking the lead," he hinted.

He stressed that the Akufo-Addo government met a bigger problem regarding the collection of import revenue, hence the need to pay attention to it.

According to him the previous government disbanding the destination inspection and using only one company to help Customs do valuation without transactional price database affected revenue generation.

“If we don’t pay attention to the import revenue and find a way to efficiently manage its collections, it will collapse because we met a big problem and the problem is that we realized that as we disbanded the destination inspection and brought in one company to help Customs to do the valuation, that company did not have a transactional price data-base and so that paved way for the Customs valuation to be based solely on discretion,” he indicated.

He added this discretion of the Customs called benchmark value, though not one of the methods of valuation, the government adopted it to do valuation; making the traders to complain of high cost in duties as there was no equality and fairness in pricing of products at the port.

Introduction of Cargo Tracking Note

Taking into account of the complain of the traders, the deputy Minister of Trade averred it moved President Akufo-Addo to call on the Trade Ministry to find a more prudent way to solve that benchmark problem, the prudent way the Customs came up with is the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy, which is part of the Paperless Project.

He however wondered how the CTN is going to affect freight forwarders as the policy is asking the person bringing the products to Ghana to upload the documents abroad and not in Ghana to the Customs in order to prevent people from paying money to anybody.

“CTN is being administered by the Customs direct to do so many things and not valuation alone and so if traders don’t understand certain things, they should exercise patience. Now, it is turning political with the way they are handling the issue of CTN”, he averred.

Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com/[email protected]

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