The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana is one of the organisations in disapproval of the “no duty no exit policy at the MPS Terminal 3” that the finance minister announced on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
The finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in his press conference, listed this policy as one of initiatives government will embark on imminently to plug revenue leakages as it seeks to boost the economic fortunes of the nation.
Speaking on Eye on Port, the Executive Secretary of the Association, Sampson Asaki Awingobit described the policy as a demonstration of poor technical briefing on port matters.
He said the Minister has to be briefed properly by technocrats on the nuances of the maritime trade and port operations in order to help guide his decision making on such sensitive matters.
Sampson Asaki cited operational inefficiencies, safety, among other things as some of the repercussions of such a decision and called for immediate reversal of the policy.
The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters explained that “when MPS was set up we did not give MPS the power to do intrusive examination of things like spare parts, second-hand clothing, second-hand cars. Such cargoes are supposed to go to the Golden Jubilee Terminal. We should know that, in case of cars, they are further transferred to Safe Bond Car Terminal.
“Also, there is a dedicated terminal for dangerous cargo known as the TBT. It is not safe to keep dangerous cargo and handle them among the rest of the cargo at MPS. Is government going to cause redundancy of jobs for the Ghanaians working at those terminals? I believe the Finance Minister should have confidence in the National Security, the Preventive wing of Customs who ensure monitoring of such cargoes.”
“I see no reason why an importer would pay his duty at MPS and still allow my container to go Golden Jubilee Terminal, Reefer Terminal or Tema Bonded Terminal and stay for days for me to come back and pay demurrages and rent before I can take it to my warehouse. That would not work. No importer will not pay duty first. If that is going to happen there is going to be chaos and overcrowding at MPS. Clearing in the country is already challenging as we know it,” he lamented.
He said he will officially engage the Minister, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Customs, and other institutions relevant to this particular matter on the way forward.