The President of the Association of Custom House Agents of Ghana (ACHAG), Mr Yaw Kyei, has asked haulage truck drivers to strictly adhere to laid down regulations and procedural measures relating to the transit business in order to make the country’s corridors more competitive and attractive to trade.
He explained that rampant scenes of accidents involving trucks carrying transit cargo was hindering the government’s quest to increase the volume of transit goods that were carted through the country’s ports.
At a workshop for haulage truck drivers by the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA) in Tema, Mr Kyei observed that haulage truck owners and drivers needed to play their role efficiently to facilitate an efficient haulage system in the country.
It brought together all the relevant stakeholders and regulatory bodies in the transit trade business including the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) and the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service.
“Road transport remains the major mode of transport in the country as it serves an array of purposes for travelers, traders and industries.
"Accidents on our roads, beyond the loss of lives and properties which must be avoided at all cost, renders our trade corridors uncompetitive and ultimately affects the port choice decision of transit shippers,” he said.
As major players in the transit chain, he stated that compliance to the regulations of the trade at both domestic and sub-regional levels will ensure that the country have a safe corridor for trade.
"Your role in the overall achievement of the objectives of international trade and in particular the growth of the country’s trade business cannot be taken too lightly.”
Mr Kyei commended the leadership of the GSA for showing strong will in addressing the nagging challenges within the country’s transit trade value chain.
“These activities, no doubt, provide the platform for discussions on some of the pertinent issues affecting inland transportation of international trade cargo and deepens the trade facilitation credentials of the authority.
"Much as the focus was on transit drivers, the attainment of the national aspirations for transit trade development requires the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders along the corridor,” he added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, Ms Benonita Bismarck, urged players in the industry to be committed to contribute their quota to find solutions which would help Ghana’s quest to become the preferred transit country in the West African sub-region.
"As you are in no doubt, the authority over the last two years instituted the electronic-platform for reporting non-tariff barriers.
"The performance report of this platform has indicated an average of 98 per cent of all reported complaints against the police, axle load officers, customs and other operatives along the corridor have been resolved," she said.
Use the platform
She, therefore, urged all truck drivers to use the platform as their first port of call for all issues along the corridor.
She indicated that the authority had also scheduled quarterly meetings with the executives of the various transport unions with the view to discuss issues affecting their operations.
"I wish to appeal to all the actors in this space to kindly cooperate with the GSA as it seek through these engagements to have dispassionate discussions on the proposal for the formation of a council of port transport unions, one representative body that would champion the aspirations of the union membership to ensure that we forge ahead with one voice in all deliberations on transit trade."