Stakeholders in the export value chain received reassurance from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on concerns over potential prosecution of defaulters of the Letter of Commitment (LoC).
The sensitization workshops on the Letter of Commitment (LoC) were to create awareness for conformity rather than targeted sanctions of non-compliant parties.
The proposed campaign by the BoG was to intensify awareness-creation for the implementation of the LoC which requires exporters to repatriate their export proceeds to Ghana. This follows observations made on the increasing infractions on the LoC by exporters since its introduction in July 2016.
The BoG collaborated with the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) to reach a wider range of exporters nationwide to sensitize and encourage compliance with the repatriation regulations.
Since its commencement in August 2022, about one thousand (1000) exporters were sensitised in the workshops held in nine (9) regional capitals.
The 10th in the series of the workshops was held at the Ghana Shippers’ House in Accra on Thursday 7th December 2023 with over three hundred (300) participants including representatives from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and financial institutions.
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), the Head of the Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation department, Mrs. Monica Josiah emphasized the significant interest generated by the LoC since its introduction mainly due to the associated sanctions for non-compliance.
She noted, key stakeholder engagements indicated lack of awareness on the rudiments of the LoC and the unprofessional conduct of some Customs House Agents regarding the usage and application of the LoC resulted in non-compliance.
The Deputy Director of Foreign Banking Operations at BoG Mr. Eric Kweku Hammond affirmed that the sensitizations were focused on awareness and to ensure conformity, rather than penalization of non-compliant exporters.
“How many of you have been fined or imprisoned for failing to comply with the LoC so far? The law is there to bite but we don’t want that, and it is why we are focused on these sensitisations so you become aware of your responsibilities to the nation” he noted.
The workshop also provided the platform for participants to engage BoG and GSA on pertinent concerns for redress.
The LOC is a web-based export document that is generated by exporters from the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) portal to accompany all export shipments from Ghana. The Central Bank on 1st July 2016 incorporated the LOC into the electronic export monitoring platform to track export proceeds to boost foreign reserves for economic growth.