The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Agency (GRA), Major-General Carl Modey, has warned clearing agents against falsifying documents to clear goods from the country�s ports and entry points.
Major-General Modey, who praised clearing agents for performing creditably, especially last year, causing the state to generate a lot of revenue from custom duties said any clearing agent caught involving in any shady deal would not be spared.
The Commissioner gave the warning and commendation when he addressed the 15th annual general meeting of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders at Koforidua.
The event with the theme: �Developing Effective Public-Private Partnership Towards the Enhancement of International Trade� brought together freight forwarders from all the country�s ports and entry points to deliberate on goods clearance aimed at addressing the numerous challenges associated with it.
Present at the ceremony were a number of dignitaries such as Madam Dzifa Attivor, a deputy Minister of Transport who represented the Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama and the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin 11.
Major-General Modey said although most freight forwarders engaged in genuine businesses which had made it possible for the state to rake in huge sums of money in terms of custom duties, it was regrettable that a few others continued to falsify documents depriving the state of revenue.
According to Major-General Modey, the falsification of documents on imported goods had also led to the delay in clearing such goods to the detriment of importers and the general public-- a situation which he said must not be allowed to continue.
He therefore warned those involved in such malpractices to change their attitude or have themselves to blame.
Major-General Modey however praised GIFF for partnering the state to rake in much revenue and called on the institute which he said had a lot of potentials to continue with such a partnership by developing new innovations to improve goods clearance from the ports.
Madam Dzifa Ativor who represented the Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, said government would continue to improve the transport sector in line with the �Better Ghana Agenda�.
He asked the freight forwarders not to condone and connive with custom officials to deprive the state of revenue.
In a speech read on his behalf by a director at the Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council, Mr Asante Baffoe, the Regional Minister,
Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi asked freight forwarders to exhibit a high sense of professionalism in the course of duty.
The president of GIFF, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, stressed the need for a law that would enable freight forwarders to regulate their own activities instead of the present situation whereby some policy makers with little knowledge about freight forwarding regulate the business to the detriment to GIFF and the state.
He also stated that the International Federation of Freight Forwarders (FIATA), the mother association, had recognised GIFF as the regional hub for the training of freight forwarders.
Mr Ahenkorah expressed concern about foreign owned firms dominating the custom house agency business which he said was illegal and appealed to the government to act now on the issue to preserve the business for Ghanaians.
With regard to its social responsibility, Mr Ahenkorah said GIFF had over the years honoured it and that this year, it had donated GH�5,000 and 1,000 bags of cement to the St Joseph Hospital at Koforidua.
The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin ,who chaired the function, asked freight forwarders to continue to render good services to the nation.
He called on the government not to relent on its support for the private sector and also ensure that children of poor parents also benefit from quality education to the highest level.
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