By In On November 29, 2018

Traders from many countries frequently highlight bureaucratic delays and other hindrances when moving goods across borders. In response, the World Trade Organization (WTO) members crafted the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which entered into force on 22 February 2017 after the ratification of two-thirds of the 164 WTO member states. The TFA contains 36 articles and provisions for expediting the movement, release, and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other relevant authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance.

These articles include publication of information, information available through internet, enquiry points, notification, opportunity to comment and information before entry into force, consultations, Advance Rulings, Right to Appeal or Review, Notification for Enhanced Controls or Inspections, Detention, Test Procedures, General Disciplines on Fees and Charges Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation, Penalty Disciplines, Pre-arrival Processing, Electronic Payment, Seperation of Release from final determination of Customs Duties, Taxes, Fees and Charges, Risk Management, Post-Clearance Audit, Establishment and Publication of Average Release Times, Trade Faciliation Measures for Authorized Operators, Expedited Shipments, Perishable goods, Border Agency Cooperation, Movement of Goods Under Customs Intended for imports, Formalities and Documentation Requirements, Acceptance Copies, Use of International Standards, Single Window, Pre-Shipment Inspection, Use of Custom Brokers, Common Border Procedures and Requirements and Uniform Forms and Documentation relating to Clearance, Rejected Goods, Temporary Admission of Goods/Inward and Outward Processing, Freedom of Transit, Customs Cooperation and the Establishment of a National Committee on Trade Facilitation.

In recent years (specifically in the past decade), efforts to increase efficiency and enhance revenue have intensified, with the introduction of reforms such as the Ghana National Single Window, advanced shipping information system, the paperless port, joint destination inspection and a cargo tracking note system among others. While some gains have been made by implementing these reforms, they have not been without challenges. Stakeholders of the ports have often complained of limited consultation processes prior to the implementation of reform initiatives and as such have had little ownership of the initiative. Government have also complained about the attitude of the private sector in receiving some of these initiatives. To achieve the objectives of reforms and an efficient port thereof, there is a need for a joint effort and ownership of initiatives to address emerging challenges of trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation.

ICC Ghana with the support of the BUSAC Fund is organizing a stakehoders workshop on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Workshop in Ghana on the 11th of December 2018 at the Coconut Groove Regency Hotel at Ridge. ALL MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO SEND A REPRESENTATIVE

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ICC Ghana