As part of measures to improve processing of documents at the port, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has partnered the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to sensitize shippers on ways to address import permit application challenges.
The move is part of efforts to tackle the growing Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) as well as support trade facilitation.
At the sensitization forum organised under theme ‘The Role of FDA – Addressing Import Permit Application Challenges to Facilitate Trade’ held at the FDA office in Tema on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the Tema Branch Manager of the GSA, Charles Darling Sey said, more efforts would be put in to deal with the development as a means to support the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which frowns on NTBs.
He noted that a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report suggests that African countries could gain US$ 20 billion in GDP growth by tackling NTBs at the continental level.
“Ghana and for that matter shippers cannot allow simple processing of FDA permits to add on to the NTBs which may have the potential to prevent the hard-working importers or exporters from meeting deadlines of cargo delivery due to simple processing of registration and permit acquisition at the FDA.
It is my believe that one sure way to remove NTBs is the sustained awareness creation targeting specific groups and entities and the willingness of state agencies to assist these groups without any form of solicitation and appellate application process to give preferential exclusion in any form,” Mr. Sey said.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Technical Operations at the FDA, Akua Amartey said stakeholders must work hard to ensure that the efforts being put into trade facilitation yield results.
“Whilst the FDA takes steps to facilitate trade, something which should properly be in the domain of the trading community, it is expected that you our stakeholders also position yourself to comply with the Public Health Act and the Authority’s guidelines regarding the registration and importation/exportation of regulated products.
This is important in ensuring a win-win situation where the FDA as a regulatory institution is not only concerned with regulation but trade facilitation as well, and you the trading the community are not only concerned with trade facilitation but protection of public health as well,” she said.
The Forum was attended by the Food and Beverages Association Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Association of Customs House Agents, among others.