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CTN Implementation....NPP Gov't Readying Itself For Opposition In 2020?   
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From all indications, it appears the Akufo-Addo government is hell-bent on pressing the self-destruct button politically, even before the next General Elections in 2020 considering its dogged determination to rollout the unpopular Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy; so says some business association groups. 

According to these groups, aside the obvious insurmountable battle against the wanton sleazes and corruption incidents that have assailed the senses of Ghanaians for years, Kelni-GVG wahala, the goodwill and support the President and his government enjoyed when it took over is all but eroded, largely because of government’s actions or inactions, the arrogant posture of some appointees and the failure to fulfill promises made in opposition.

But the rollout of the CTN is what will bite the NPP hard in the not too distant future, they assert.

The Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) requires importers to provide real-time information on all consignments to Ghana to a global monitoring platform.

Criticisms against the introduction of the CTN in the form being advertised, with regards to revenue generation and trade facilitation notwithstanding, government contends it (CTN) will enable Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to close the information gap between Ghana Customs and trade partners, and ensure the correct classification and valuation of all imports.

This system, government believes, will prevent clearing agents and some importers from colluding to provide false invoices which leads to huge revenue losses to the state, estimated at some US$8 million monthly.

However, business association groups including the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Association of Custom House Agents of Ghana (ACHAG), Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana, the Custom Brokers Association of Ghana (CUBAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) and the Food and Beverages Association of Ghana, have openly voiced out their objection to government's decision to effectuate the policy.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the umbrella body of traders in the country, also wants government to reconsider its decision or face their wrath.

Eventhough GUTA is against the implementation of the CTN, its front appears divided over the issue.

Peacefmonline is reliably informed that without the consent of the other executive members and stakeholders, two members of GUTA agreed to specific terms including the full implementation of the CTN on October 15.

The two executives, David Amoateng, a Deputy Public Relations Officer and Emmanuel Nana Opoku Acheampong, a Deputy General Secretary, have been suspended from engaging in further discussions on CTN until the matter is properly determined.

National Organizer for GUTA, Clement Boateng, who confirmed this in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on PeaceFM's "Kokrokoo" Morning Show, revealed that a similar policy was laid before Parliament under the erstwhile Mahama regime, but it was shot down due to certain anomalies that were discovered.

"We cannot prevent from talking, but on issue of the CTN, we say no so that we can all (collectively) lay our concerns before government," he stated.

Wondering why the current administration led by President Nana Akufo-Addo would implement the policy without giving ear to the concerns raised by GUTA and the other stakeholders, Clement Boateng told the host that it will cost a trader an additional US $200 to 500 to import goods from Europe and Asia which will impede trade.

"Who will bear such cost? Is it the trader or government? It hasn't be made clear yet", he stated.

He further noted that per regulations by the World Trade Organization, any measures which will threaten trade facilitation shouldn't be accepted or encouraged; hence the Association doesn't support the government's initiative in regulating cargoes at the port.

Clement Boateng claimed the CTN which commenced on Monday, October 15, 2018, "has no legal backing since it hasn't been laid before the Legislative House".

In a related development, President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng has expressed disgust over the CTN implementation saying "for us as traders, we do not subscribe to the implementation of the CTN. We are asking the Vice President and government to rethink their decision to implement the CTN else they will face our wrath".

Touching on the suspension of two of their executive members who held contrary opinions on the rollout of the CTN in an interview with Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' programme, he stated; "we are still in consultation with government but the public display of these two members on CTN does not make us united for a common cause."

In the face of this row, political watchers argue that though the reasons why the opposition wins and incumbent loses an election is but an art and science, the agitation emanating from all stables is indicative of the fact that retaining power in 2020 will be a difficult task for the NPP. 


The seven associations in the shipping business on Monday, August 27, 2018, threatened to shut down their operations at the country’s ports in protest against the implementation of the CTN system which was expected to have taken off on September 1, 2018.

The action was necessitated by what the businesses described as government’s failure to heed concerns on the policy which impedes trade facilitation.

But President Akufo-Addo’s interventions compelled the Associations to halt the intended strike and demonstration for further deliberations before the implementation.

The implementers therefore shifted the commencement date to October 16, 2018.

Lawsuit and agitations

Meanwhile, a freight forwarder, John Kwame Adu Jack has sued the GRA over the CTN policy.

Kwame Adu Jack wants the court to declare the planned implementation of the CTN illegal, and had also sought an injunction on the implementation of the system.

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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