During a recent visit to Worchester, Massachusetts Sunday, President Akufo-Addo told a crowd at a town hall meeting that he plans to reform Ghana’s import duty regime with the intent to alleviate high taxes at Ghana’s ports.
He assured Ghanaians that the government is already working on the deal and indicated that he is aware of petitions received by the State to revise the current import duty regime.
“We have realised from the studies we have done that our ports are not competitive, and the import regime in our country is far too high,” he said. “We are dealing with it, and, very soon, the measures that government will roll out will become known to all of you. I am not talking next year, or in 6 months’ time, I am talking very, very soon.”
According to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, the introduction of the new paperless port system has reduced costs. He added that “the results (of the Paperless Port system) showed that the cost components of doing business at the country’s ports have reduced from seven to three cost components. This has, subsequently, reduced the total costs from GH₵1,280 to GH₵320.”
He continued, “This means that the paperless system reduced the cost of doing business at the ports by GH₵960 representing 75 percent savings. Hence, importers are now making savings of 75 percent as a result of the implementation of the paperless system.”
Shortly after the implementation, stakeholders hailed the system for improving efficiency at Ghana’s ports.
Last year, Michael Achagwe Luguje, Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, predicted that the paperless port system rollout would be 100 percent complete by the end of 2019’s second quarter and he requested that stakeholders continue to provide suggestions as to make the system more effective.
Similarly, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismarck, said that she would review the implementation of the program and make changes as needed.
“In view of the multiple stakeholders connected to it and the intensity of the nationwide shipper sensitization required, the Shippers Authority in consultation with key industry stakeholders preferred a comprehensive review of the system after its first year of implementation. More collaboration among industry player is required to ensure that the system is fully oiled to deliver the goals government envisioned,” she stated.