The Commissioner General at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Revered Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, has cautioned the Customs Division of the various countries implementing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to be mindful of the potential origin of fraud that can derail the efforts they have so far made towards the implementation of the trade agreement.
According to the Commissioner, rules of origin is a critical factor of AfCFTA so member countries must adopt flexible rules which will lead to Harmonized Commodity Description and coding Systems to enable custom officers to implement the rules fairly.
AfCFTA is an agreement among 54 African countries set to commence in January 2021.
It has an estimated potential of boosting intra-African trade by 52.3 percent by eliminating import duties.
Speaking at a meeting on the commencement of AfCFTA, the Commissioner General said all custom related issues should be addressed and harmonized before the implementation of AfCFTA.
“Rules of origin is a critical factor of the main agreement. It behoves on us to have flexible rules and also be consistent in the chapter, heading and subheading levels of the Harmonized Commodity Description and coding systems. These would enable our officers to implement these fairly to all”.
He further called on the various custom officers to charge their administrations to give them additional resources to enable them execute their roles efficiently’
“Operationalizing of AfCFTA will be an additional responsibility to our operations and therefore would be prudent for Customs Administrations to be given additional resources in performing these roles diligently. You ought to make such recommendations to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU for additional resources”.