Importers of rice into Ghana can now do so through the land borders from the 1st August this year.
It follows the lifting of a ban placed on inland importation of rice by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism.
The ban, which has been in force for about three years now, prevented the importation of rice into the country through the Elubo, Sampa and Nkrankwanta borders.
The move was to curb the numerous unfair trade practices such as evasion of import duties and other taxes, under-invoicing, infringement of trademarks and smuggling.
But a statement from the Trade Ministry and copied to Citi Business News indicated that from Monday, all importers could do so via the inland borders.
The Ministry however requested that importers continue to abide by the regulations guiding importation into the country.
In March this year, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit said government must be vigilant and deal with the matter.
His appeal followed numerous concerns by importers of rice about the increase in the illegal importation of rice into the country.
‘‘It is legitimate, it is true, it is real and we want the Ministry of Trade and Industry to come out as a matter of urgency. If it is true there was a law or a directive banning the importation of inland rice onto the markets, then what are they doing about this situation?” Sampson Asaaki lamented.
Meanwhile the Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA), an anti-corruption organisation and a centre for information gathering on public concerns, had asserted that there is still a hidden trade war between Ghana and Ivory Coast resulting from a previous ban on inland rice importation by Ghana.
Ms Cynthia Essandoh, BIA Coordinator, in a statement said that the decision to ban inland importation of rice appears to have been taken by the Ghana’s Trade Ministry without proper consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana