The Bank of Ghana (BoG), has cautioned exporters regarding the failure to repatriate proceeds to the country.
The Foreign Exchange Act, 2006, Act 723, and the accompanying Letter of Commitment (LOC) enjoin exporters to expatriate proceeds of merchandise through bank with exception of exporters with retention arrangements.
This repatriation shall be 100 per cent of the export value of all merchandise exports.
However, some exporters are reportedly flouting the law.
According to Mr. Eric Kweku Hammond, Assistant Director, Banking Department of the Bank of Ghana, exporters found guilty could face a fine of 5000 penalty units which translates to Ghc60,000 or imprisonment term of not more than ten years or both.
Addressing exporters at a forum organized by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and BoG, Mr. Kwaku Hammond emphasized the importance of repatriating export proceeds for building reserves, strengthening the local currency to ultimately boost trading activities, and facilitate Ghana’s transformation agenda.
Mr. Kwaku Hammond noted that the LOC has come to stay and if properly adhered challenges expressed by the exporters will not emerge ,however, assured that doors of BoG are opened to work collaboratively to resolve challenges they encounter with the system.
Charles Darling Asiedu Sey, Tema branch Manager of Ghana Shippers Authority said the forum is designed to address specific challenges faced by exporters.
He said export holds deep significance for national development stating that “It is the lifeblood contributing significantly to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), job creation, and government revenue. It plays key role in shaping our economy, fostering international trade relations and positioning Ghana on the global stage”.
Charles Sey stated that the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) charts an ambitious path for the next decade.
“It envisions the growth of non-traditional exports(NTEs) from 2.8 billion dollars in 2020 to a substantial 25.3billion dollars in 2029.This growth is coupled with a profound structural transformation aimed at positioning Ghana as a competitive export -led industrialized economy”.
He stressed that (GSA) is partnering with service providers to enhance the quality of shipping services by reviewing export -related policies, simplify procedures, reduce bureaucracy, and create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
Mr. Sey called for continuous evaluation of the export value chain to identify bottlenecks and enhance Ghana’s exportable capacity and facilitate trade with other countries with focus on addressing non-tariff barriers.
The 1st Vice President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Paul Kobina Mensah, took participants through the rudiments of exports with focus on insurance, negotiating favourable trade conditions(INCOTERMS), sales contract ,Freight negotiation, Freight charges high and how to reducing shipping charges.
Participants raised various concerns including rising freight charges, challenges with the LOC system, high exchange rate above BoG rate being applied at the ports, bureaucracies and lack of financial and technical support from government and regulators.