Customs Officers To Face Sanctions-If caught dealing with ‘goro boys’ at borders – Commissioner

Costoms officers manning the country’s borders will be sanctioned severely if caught dealing with ‘Goro Boys’, Isaac Crentsil, Commissioner of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has warned.

Consequently, he has ordered that all intermediary transactions between the ‘Goro Boys’ at the borders and customs officers be halted with immediate effect.
He disclosed that an official letter of notice would be communicated to all customs officers at borders for strict compliance.

The Customs Commissioner charged truck drivers to deal directly with customs officers for inspection and stamping of their documents instead of depending on ‘Goro Boys’ to do that on their behalf.

Crentsil gave the warning when he paid a surprise visit to Paga-Dakola border to assess activities at the border.

10,000 CFA charge by ‘Goro Boys’
The agents or ‘Goro Boys’ at the Ghana-Burkina Faso borders hitherto charge an amount of 10,000 CFA, the equivalent of GH₵75, for posing as middlemen between customs officers and transit truck drivers or traders, only to collect their documents and deliver to customs for inspection and subsequent stamping.

‘Goro Boys’ needless - Customs
The Commissioner of Customs expressed the belief that the service offered by the agents or ‘Goro Boys’ is needless since the drivers could easily deal with officers without any difficulties.

With this intervention from the Commissioner of Customs, no trader or truck driver will pay this 10,000 CFA, which had been there since time immemorial.

With this directive, the Burkinabe government, transit traders, truck drivers and advocates of smooth trade within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) corridors like the Borderless Alliance and USAID have already applauded Ghana for such a brilliant intervention to promote the transit corridor and improve trade between Ghana and the transit communities.
Crentsil was part of a delegation that embarked on a week-long Trade Mission to Burkinabe Faso.

The delegation was led by the Board Chairman of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Peter Mac Manu. Other members of the delegation were the acting Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Asare Ansah; the Director of Tema Port, Edward Osei; General Manager, Marketing and Public Affairs of GPHA, Esther Gyebi Donkor; and managers of stakeholder institutions.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismarck, expressed optimism that the move by the Commissioner of Customs will go a long way to make Ghana's corridors attractive to the transit corridors.
She said the Shippers Authority, which is a body mandated to protect shipping in Ghana, has advocated against the practice, hence it’s excited to see it come to an end.
She added that with such a move, Ghana's competitiveness in the transit business will be enhanced.

GPHA commends Customs
The acting Director-General of GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah, commended the Commissioner of Customs for his great role in ensuring that trade between Ghana and its transit neighbours grow.

Transit trade up by 59%
He said in the year 2016, Ghana Ports was able to grow the transit traders by 59%, an indication of great potential to capture the transit trade in the sub-region.
Paul Asare Ansah intimated that removing bottlenecks on the transit corridors such as the removal of ‘Goro Boys’ from the border, less harassment by security agencies on the corridor, among others, would grow the number of businesses from neighbouring landlocked countries who use the ports of Ghana for import and export to the transit countries.

So far, the transitors have received the news with joy and applauded Ghana's efforts in respecting and maintaining trade relations with her neighbours.