An Assistant Commissioner, Trade and Tariffs at the Ghana Revenue Authority Mr. Fechin Akoto has called on Members States of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to develop the necessary guidelines for the management and implementation on the provisions on transiting goods under the protocol for Trade in Goods.
He made the call during a sensitization of members of the Greater Accra Transit Shipper Committee (GATSC) on 12thMay, 2021 at the Ghana Shippers’ House, Accra.
He said sections of the AfCFTA protocols on Trade in Goods, Annex 8 contains all the relevant details of the provisions on transit goods under the AfCFTA. According to him, there are five (5) appendixes on Annex 8 of the provisions on transit goods that provide for the efficient transport of transit cargo and their relevant protocols across the African continent.
The provisions, Mr. Akoto noted, relate to bond guarantees, exclusion from duties and taxes on transit goods except taxes on services that may be rendered across countries of transit.
In another presentation, Mr. Ofori Atobera, Assistant Commissioner, Customs Division of GRA, said the SIGMAT system is a system designed to harmonize all automated Customs’ regimes across the ECOWAS sub-region. The objective of the SIGMAT system he noted is to improve on the ECOWAS Customs Code and ensure the safe and efficient delivery of goods in transit. According to him, the system when implemented would deal with issues of tracking of transit cargo and prevent diversions which is a major challenge to Customs administrations in the sub-region.
The Head of Freight and Logistics Department of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Mr. Fred Asiedu-Dartey, expressed optimism about the potential of the transit trade and its contribution to the economy of Ghana. He noted that the Transit Committee had made substantial contributions in the promotion of Ghana’s transit corridor and that it was poised to even do more to continuously bring about practical solutions to the challenges faced by transit shippers using the corridor.
The Transit Shipper Committee is a platform created by the GSA and comprises key stakeholders in the transit trade value chain. The Committee regularly meets to discuss challenges confronting the transit trade and recommends practical and innovative solutions.