The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has organized a forum for exporters in the Western and Western North Regions on Wednesday 14th July 2021 at Takoradi Shippers’ Centre.
The forum which was on the topic “Addressing the Challenges of Exporters in Relation to Letters of Commitment (LOC)” was aimed at educating exporters on the need to obtain LOC’s before exporting their goods.
Mr Eric Hammond, a Deputy Director of the Banking Department of the Bank of Ghana in a presentation on the LOC indicated that the Bank of Ghana uses the LOC generated from the ICUMS Portal to monitor all exports and ensures the repatriation of export proceeds by exporters. The ICUMS allows sixty (60) days within which exporters are expected to repatriate export proceeds through the banking system to Ghana. According to him if export proceeds are not repatriated within the sixty days allowed by the ICUMS Portal, the exporter will be blocked and cannot do subsequent exports. The ICUMS has the flexibility to allow repatriation beyond the mandatory sixty days he added.
Mr Hammond said any exporter who requires more days to repatriate shall apply to the Bank of Ghana for an extension and that the Bank of Ghana shall upon the request, approve a maximum of sixty (60), and in special circumstances, an additional thirty (30) days for the exporter to repatriate export proceeds.
Mr Charles Darling Asiedu Sey, Branch Manager of GSA on his part mentioned that the GSA had over the years collaborated with sister agencies to help address shippers’ concerns with the day’s forum being a major example.
He explained that exporters play a key role in the economic transformation agenda of every nation with Ghana being no exception. He said the African Transformation Report 2014 identified export competitiveness as one of the key pillars needed to transform African economies and specifically Ghana’s economy.
He called on all stakeholders to urgently take a holistic view of the policies, regulations and practices needed with buy-in from all to create a mutually reinforcing framework that fosters export competitiveness and a business-friendly environment in Ghana.