Business News of Saturday, 14 July 2012

Source: Daily Guide

‘Ghana –Denmark Trade In Danger’

The trade link between Ghana and Denmark is on the verge of collapsing following the unbearable import duties charged for goods brought into the country from Denmark, spare parts importers have said.

Most of the operators, who import vehicle parts into the country, have folded up while others are also considering other options.

They alleged that one of the clearing houses, Webb Fountaine Ghana Ltd, which is situated on the ground floor of the Elizabeth Tower at 68 Senchi Link at Airport Residential area in Accra, was undermining the business relations between Ghana and other countries such as Denmark, Canada, Ireland.

A DAILY GUIDE undercover investigation revealed that Webb Fountaine Ghana Ltd, which was formed about three years ago, belonged to a minister in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

A spokesman for the importers, Boadu Ayeboafo, who is domiciled in Denmark, told DAILY GUIDE that whereas other clearing companies charge GH¢5,000.0 for a 40-footer container of spare parts imported from Italy and other countries, those imported from Denmark, Canada and Ireland attract ‘unreasonable’ handling charges.

Quoting figures to buttress his point, Mr. Ayeboafo said he paid GH¢4,173.56 in August 2011, GH¢7,018.52 in January 2012 and GH¢9,448.73 in June, 2012 for the same 40-footer container.

Mr. Ayeboafo, who owns Joebob Ventures and Pin Code Trading Enterprise in Accra and Kumasi, could not fathom why his colleagues who import the same 40-footer container from Italy and other countries should be made to pay less.

The importers intend to lodge a petition with the Denmark and Canadian Embassies to help solve the situation.

But when contacted, Ernest Owusu Acquah, Customer Service Manager of Webb Funtaine, said they are not clearing agents but Ghanaian destination inspection company that facilitates trade rather than frustrate traders.’

He explained that the company does not value containers but goods therein based on the dollar rate, adding, “The parameters are many and you don’t expect an importer to pay the same amount all the time.”

Mr. Owusu Acquah noted that though his outfit organizes programmes for the importers to educate them on the changing trends, most of them do not attend.

But he declined to comment on the ownership of the company, adding, “It is a Ghanaian company and I am not in any position to know even the shareholders.