The Ministry of Finance has told Citi Business News government will not defer the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET).
The tariff is to be implemented in January 2015.
Ministers of Finance and Directors-General of Customs of ECOWAS Member States met in Accra in late November, 2014 to finalize preparations for the entry into force of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff in 2015.
The purpose of the pre-ministerial meeting is to conclude arrangements at the experts’ level and brief the Finance Ministers on the preparations towards the implementation of the instrument which will officially launch the CET by 1st January 2015.
Speaking to Citi Business News Minister of Finance Seth Terkper said Ghana’s parliament must approve the tariff since it is part of the customs law.
“We have taken the process very far but for us we cannot implement it without parliament because the new tariff is part of the customs laws and as you know our constitution requires that any change in the tax laws must go to Parliament, so we are preparing and we are very close so that is the only element. As I indicated in the speech cabinet has already considered the subject matter”.
The Minister told Citi Business News that the changes required in Ghana’s customs laws will be tabled as soon as the Attorney General finishes reviewing the changes government is seeking, since it was already captured in the 2015 budget statement.
“It is not entirely new because we have already been implementing the common external tariff among the English speaking countries within ECOWAS but now is going to include the French and Portuguese countries therefore there isn’t that many differences.”
‘This means that member countries will be paying a uniform tariff at all borders in the sub-region’.
The Minister of Finance noted that the implementation of the CET will go a long way to harmonize trade and minimize smuggling of goods across the borders.
By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford/citifmonline.com/Ghana