The Bank of Ghana (BoG) stakeholders in the export value chain that nobody will be penalised for failing to comply with the Letter of Commitment (LoC) policy.
At a sensitisation programme in Accra last Thursday, a Deputy Director of Foreign Banking Operations at the BoG, Mr Eric Kweku Hammond, affirmed that the focus was to intensify awareness creation and ensure conformity rather than targeting and penalising non-compliant exporters.
“How many of you have been fined or imprisoned for failing to comply with the LoC so far? The law is there to bite but we don’t want that and it is why we are focused on these sensitisations so you become aware of your responsibilities to the nation,” he noted.
The LOC is a web-based export document that is generated by exporters from the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) portal to accompany all exports from Ghana. The Bank of Ghana on 1st July 2016, incorporated the LOC into the electronic export monitoring platform to track export proceeds in a bid to boost the country’s foreign reserves for the growth of the economy.
To this end, the BoG says it will intensify the awareness-creation for the implementation of LoC, which requires exporters to repatriate their export proceeds to Ghana.
This follows observations made on the increasing infraction on the LoC by exporters since its introduction in July 2016.
The Head of the Shippers and Services and Trade Facilitation Department at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Mrs Monica Josiah, emphasised the interest generated by the LoC, attributing non-compliance to the lack of awareness among exporters. “since 2016, the BoG’s Letter of Commitment (LoC) requirement has generated tremendous interest, mainly due to the sanctions associated with the non-conformity,” she noted.
She added that engagements with key stakeholders have attributed the non-conformity to the lack of awareness of the requirement on the part of exporters and the unprofessional conduct of some Customs House Agents who use their clients’ LoC details to process shipments of other exporters on their blind side.