FROZEN FOODS PRICE WAR....White Stone Suspects Foul Play

Officials of White Stone Foods Company Limited say they suspect a grand agenda by some importers of frozen foods to denigrate their operations.

Some frozen food importers recently stormed the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to kick against the recent decision to grant White Stone Foods Company Customs Advance Ruling on Valuation, making the company become a leading importer of frozen foods.

The agitators had claimed that the decision would make White Stone Foods monopolise the market and enjoy an unfair pricing to the disadvantage of its competitors.

However, the decision by Customs was not an act of illegality as such facility is extended to high volume importers.

A source indicated that the Customs Advance Ruling on Valuation is backed by Section 12 of Act 891 of the GRA Act.

White Stone Foods Company has been operating for over three decades until June 8, 2017, when it was granted the Customs Advance Ruling on Valuation.

Those who benefitted from the facility under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration are also crying foul.

White Stone Foods is not the only beneficiary of the Customs discretional facility.

Checks with the GRA revealed that another major importer –  Francopat Company Limited – was also granted the same facility on June 22, 2017.

Francopat was said to have enjoyed the facility over the last eight years.

Advance rulings are binding decisions by Customs at the request of the importer concerned on specific particulars in relation to the intended importation or exportation of goods. Advance rulings can be requested with regard to either the classification, the origin or the Customs value of the goods in preparation for importation or exportation.

The facility is renewable based on the valuation conducted by Customs on the said product.

The facility was only granted to importers who have over the years shown commitment to the state by paying their required import duties appropriately and on time.

It is the first time White Stone Foods is enjoying this facility. The company was granted the facility on June 8, 2017.

The proprietress of the company Eunice Jacqueline Buah, who is a board member of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), is helping government and port officials to pluck the holes at the port to maximize revenue for government, hence, the plot by the agitators to pitch the public against her.

White Stone Foods Company Limited has been operating for the past 30 years without enjoying the benefits of this Custom Advance Ruling on Valuation which has become the bone of contention; yet the company has seen very huge success to create employment for the teeming youth.

White Stone Foods appears to be the biggest frozen foods importer in the country.