The Letter of Commitment (LoC) regime was introduced by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in 2016 to enable it to monitor all exports leaving the shores of Ghana and to repatriate the export proceeds into the country.
The LoC is a web-based export document generated by exporters from the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS)’ portal to accompany all exports from Ghana.
The Bank of Ghana thus incorporated the LoC into the electronic export monitoring platform to track export proceeds.
During the implementation of the LoC, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) received complaints from exporters regarding the challenges they faced. These challenges included inadequate time allocated for the repatriation of export proceeds, delays in accessing repatriated proceeds from commercial banks, low exchange rates offered by the banks and blocking of subsequent export transactions for non-repatriation of proceeds beyond 60 days.
The GSA then engaged the BoG over the concerns, resulting in the formation of an intersectoral committee consisting of representatives from the GSA, Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division, Ghana Link Network Services Limited (ICUMS), Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Association of Banks.
The committee recommended a nationwide sensitization of exporters on the LoC after it was realized that most of the challenges were as a result of lack of education.
More than one thousand (1,000) exporters participated in the nationwide sensitization. The event piggy-backed on the GSA’s Regional Shipper Committees’ meetings which comprise importers, exporters and other stakeholders in the shipping and logistics sector.
The first in the series of the nationwide sensitization on the LOC was on 9th August 2022 at Sunyani for exporters in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
The team of facilitators replicated the workshop at eight (8) other venues; Kumasi, Bolgatanga, Tamale, Cape-Coast, Koforidua, Wa, Takoradi and the Aflao border.
A major feature in the nationwide sensitization was the Question and Answer (Q & A) session, where participants took turns to ask questions and seek clarification on pertinent issues concerning the implementation of the LOC.
The Participants, who were largely exporters, rendered positive reviews on the program and expressed confidence in the efforts by the GSA and the BoG to provide adequate solutions to the challenges associated with the repatriation of export proceeds.
One of such persons was the Chairman of the Northern Regional Shipper Committee, Mr. Husein Alhassan, who commended the GSA and its partners for engaging exporters in the region on the LoC saying “it has helped to address some of the challenges confronting members”. He added that exporters in the region are now well informed and will be able to tackle some recurrent challenges.
Personnel from the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Shippers Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division, Ghana Link Network Services Limited (ICUMS), Ghana Association of Banks and the Ghana Insurers Association made presentations to the exporters at the various locations. The representatives of the organizations were as follows;
- Mr. Eric Hammond, Head of Foreign Operations- BOG
- Mrs. Monica Josiah, Head of Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Department- GSA
- Mr. Lipton Baffour Nsoah, Deputy Operations Manager- Ghana Link Network Services
- Mr. Musah Abdul-Rahman, a Representative of the Association of Bankers,
- Branch Managers of the GSA.
Many exporters in Ghana belong to a group or an association. It is therefore expected that the participants of the seminars would serve as goodwill ambassadors that would carry the message across to other exporters.