Freight Forwarders Serve Notice

Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, President of GIFF flanked by some executive members of the association whiles addressing journalists

MEMBERS OF the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) have given government a one-week ultimatum to withdraw the soon-to-be implemented Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy.

According to them, failure on the part of government to heed to their request would lead to a nationwide strike action.

The members and leaders of the various freight forwarding associations such as GIFF, Importers and Exporters Association, Association of Customs Houses Agents Ghana, amongst others, have declared to embark on a sit-down strike effective Monday, August 27, 2018, if government fails to withdraw the policy by the close of the week.

CTN is an online platform where every detail about a vessel is provided before it is shipped. Under the system, exporters all over the world shipping cargo to Ghana will be expected to provide detailed and timely information about their shipment in advance on a Global Online Platform.

The CTN is expected to seal loopholes of revenue losses in cargo shipment as some importers believe that some freight forwarders take advantage of the system to undervalue their products.

The CTN, which is expected to take effect on September 1, 2018, at the various ports across the country, has been met with fierce objection by members of the freight sector.

Addressing a news conference in Tema in the Greater Accra Region, President of GIFF, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, announced that the association which has over five associations scattered across the country and beyond will from Monday suspend the importation of goods, payment of duties and withdrawal of direct services.

He explained that the implementation of the CTN policy would bring hardship on importers, freight forwarders and the Ghanaian public as a whole.

According to him, CTN comes with a lot of charges and security threats and believed that because the system is online platform which does not require any input on the ground to check, anyone can sit behind the computer to create an invoice and anything can be shipped into the country.

GIFF President was of the view that because the CTN would not be associated with any of the customs platforms it would provide an opportunity for scammers to manipulate the system.

For his part, the Chairman of ACHAG, Mr. Yaw Kyei, said their association together with other member associations would duly follow the directive since the CTN would only come and compound the problems facing them at the port.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Freight Forwarders and Traders has shot down the directive issued by their national executives to embark on a sit- down strike beginning next Monday.

President of the Chamber, Mr. Cephas Nana Boakye, noted that they support the CTN which is being implemented by the Ghana Revenue Authority, for which reason they would defy the directive and work come Monday.

From Vincent Kubi & Emma Davies, Tema