Players in the nation’s transit trade have been sensitised on how to position themselves to benefit from AfCFTA.
The Transit Shipper Committee (TSC) members of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) in Grater Accra have been taken through the AfCFTA framework and enlightened on how mechanisms available can be used to enhance their operations.
Head of Freight and Logistics Department – who also doubles as Chairman of the Committee – Fred Asiedu-Dartey in his welcome address expressed optimism about the potential of transit trade and its contribution to the economy of Ghana.
He noted that the TSC had made substantial contributions in the promotion of Ghana’s transit corridor, and that the TSC is poised to do even more to continuously bring about practical solutions for the challenges faced by transit shippers using Ghana’s corridors.
Fechin Akoto, Assistant Commissioner-Trade and Tariffs at the Ghana Revenue Authority, made the presentation on the topic ‘Transit Trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement(AfCFTA)’. In his presentation, he touched on the concept of transit trade and provided relevant sections and provision of the AfCFTA Framework which deal with transit trade.
These provisions relate to bond guarantees, exclusion from duties and taxes on transit goods – except taxes on services that may be rendered across countries of transit.
Others also include the relevant documents that will be required and the unique registrations of haulage trucks with Transit number plates.
Mr. Akoto underscored the adequacy of AfCFTA’s framework in the transportation of transit goods. He however cautions that member-states are obliged to develop the necessary guidelines for management and implementation of the provisions on transiting goods under the protocol’s trade in goods.
Mr. Ofori Atobera, Assistant Commissioner-Customs Division of GRA, also gave a presentation on the SIGMAT system; a system designed to harmonise all automated Customs regimes across the ECOWAS sub-region.
The SIGMAT system’s objective is to improve on the ECOWAS Customs code and ensure safe and efficient delivery of goods in transit.
The SIGMAT system, when implemented, will deal with issues of tracking transit cargo and preventing diversions – which is a major challenge to Customs administrations in the sub-region.
Members of the Committee were therefore taken through relevant provisions of the SIGMAT system which are expected to help facilitate trade in general and particularly transit trade across the sub-region.
The Transit Shipper Committee is a platform created by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, made up of key stakeholders in the transit trade value chain, to discuss challenges to transit trade and come up with practical and innovative solutions for addressing the challenges identified.