Shippers’ Authority train importers and exporters on trade agreements

Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Fred Asiedu Dartey, addressing the forum

As part of efforts to accelerate economic growth and drive foreign exchange, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has held an exporters’ forum to abreast importers and exporters on some of the country’s trade agreements and how they can position themselves to take advantage of them.

The forum, which was under the theme ‘Facilitating Shipment under Ghana’s Preferential Trade Agreements’, saw various importers and exporters from different sectors participate.

This comes at a time trade data from the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) has revealed that imports through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) have exceeded exports since the inception of the trade agreement in 2021.

As a result, trade facilitation agencies have been advised to put in place programmes and devise policies that would increase exports as it is key to foreign exchange earnings and a driver of economic growth.

Some participants at the forum

The GSA held its exporters’ forum on Thursday, 29th June, 2023 to interact with importers and exporters and expose them to some of Ghana’s trade agreements they can take advantage of.

During a media interaction, the Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Fred Asiedu Dartey, said: “From the interactions we have had, we do believe that some impact has been made and it’s something on which we hope to follow up and ensure that we don’t only disseminate the information, but they also are able to integrate the information into their business processes so that they can derive the necessary benefits”.

An Officer with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Stephen Opoku, also indicated that compliance is the best way to sustain a business. He advised the participants to ensure that they are compliant with every requirement and should asked the relevant bodies question so as not to fault.

“If you comply, you can export your goods and save the duties or the taxes that will be levied on you but if you don’t, it would be double the cost for you. Your goods will be rejected, and you would have already put in so much and everything will come to zero,” he said during his presentation on Ghana’s Preferential Trade Agreement.

An Officer with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Abdul Aziz Saake, educated the shippers on the effective use of digital platforms to assist in trade facilitation and the avenues to lodge complaints, and to receive real-time feedback.

Some of the importers and exporters also asked questions which were duly addressed by the resource persons.

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