Importers and exporters in the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions have been sensitised to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
The event, organised by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Kumasi on Tuesday, 15th November, 2022, was also meant to appraise importers and exporters on the changing trends in international trade.
The move by the GSA is part of its effort to keep stakeholders in the shipping and logistics industry informed and updated on happenings in the sector.
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, Head of the Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Department of the GSA, Mrs. Monica Josiah said that the forum will, among other things, “help our importers and exporters to better appreciate the dos and don’ts of AfCFTA as they seek to take advantage of the large single market the agreement provides”.
The participants, who were made up of importers, exporters and shipping service providers, raised concerns about the difficulties they face in gaining access to the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS), obtaining export certification, high cost of acquiring raw materials from the Free Zone enclave, among others.
An Assistant Commissioner, Trade and Tariffs – Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Yao Akoto Fechin, addressed their concerns and took the participants through the benefits to be derived from the AfCFTA.
He also touched on the registration processes for companies and products, and export procedures under the agreement.
The participants expressed their appreciation to the GSA for organising the forum. They were hopeful that the government will work to smoothen the bottlenecks along the transport corridor to ensure that non-tariff barriers to trade are reduced to the barest minimum.