Freight forwarders, exporters and importers in the Non-traditional exporter sector have been urged to provide accurate information on goods and services they trade in for planning and budgetary purposes.
Aside cocoa, timber, gold and other minerals, all other items such as cassava, pepper, fish, tomatoes, yam are classified as non-traditional exports by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and seen as a good source of increasing returns on international trade with the right information, documentation and appropriate data to propel development.
Ms Efua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) said this at a sensitization programme on the need to protect and transmit accurate export data at Takoradi in the Western Region.
According to her achieving the US$10billion targets by 2020 on non-traditional exports required that freight forwarders in particular key-in accurate data of fully assessed manually completed exports forms.
She said the programme was therefore instituted across the country to raise awareness among players in the global trade chain on the need for accurate and precision in online data entry as well as the application of the right codes to assigned items.
“Some exporters also fail to present duly completed and assessed exports forms to customs long room…our recent visit to custom exit points revealed piles of forms dating back to 2013 which had not been submitted”.
Ms Asare pointed out that data inaccuracies and loss could be attributed to unannounced application of revised Customs Harmonized Codes adding that, “an immense volume of export data could be loss when there is a failure to pre-announce due date for commencement of application of revised codes to key stakeholders”.
The GEPA Boss said data on non-traditional export was utilized by government institutions, donors, investors, banks and businessmen for policy planning, designing of economic interventions and business decision-making.
“It is in relation to the above that it is expedient and necessary to ensure export data integrity through the protection and transmission of accurate export data”.
Mr Kojo Johnson, Chairman of the Takoradi District of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders urged his colleagues to do business with utmost integrity in order to win government’s confidence.
He said proper documentation in international trade must be of great concern to players adding, “Integrity is key in business dealings”.
The freight forwarders were educated on the role of freight forwarders in ensuring export data integrity for policy planning and designing of social interventions and the implementation of letters of commitment.