The Ghana Standards Authority and the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) have hosted a stakeholders’ dialogue with players in the shipping and logistics community over the implementation of revised fees and charges for the registration of importers by the Ghana Standards Authority.
The meeting was held on 14th January 2021 at the Ghana Shippers’ House in Accra. It was attended by representatives from the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana (FFAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, among others.
The implementation of the new fees and charges by the Ghana Standards Authority was to have commenced in January 2020 but was postponed due to several factors, including the need for further stakeholder engagements and buy-in.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, and other stakeholder representatives at the meeting appealed for a stay of the implementation of the new charges.
They mentioned the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as key reasons for their position. They asked for time to enable them to recover in their businesses before the implementation of the new fees.
The deliberations ended successfully with an announcement by the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo, that his outfit will maintain the current fees and charges while they continue to explore avenues for consensus on the way forward.
“No changes to the charges. The charges have been maintained.”, he said, drawing applause from the stakeholders.
He informed the meeting of his organization’s plan to introduce import certification for some categories of products such as lubricants, electricals, gas cylinders, among others.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck thanked the Ghana Standards Authority for understanding the plight of the shipping public and responding positively to their business concerns.
The GSA, she said, will continue to engage stakeholders in order to ensure that the interest of shippers in Ghana are always protected and promoted.
She appealed to the Ghana Standards Authority to do enough public education and sensitization before the implementation of the import certification regime to ensure that shippers do not suffer the payment of additional charges and other challenges due to inadequate information on compliance.