Home BUSINESS Cement Manufacturers Suspect Ghana Link

Cement Manufacturers Suspect Ghana Link

The Ghana Cement Manufacturers Association has indicated that it suspects Ghana Link Network Services Limited, a destination inspection company, of teaming up with officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the Tema Port to undervalue imported cement from China.

Speaking to journalists yesterday in an interview at Tema, the Chairman of the association, Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah said: ‘the valuation done by destination inspection companies, especially Ghana Link Network Services on imported cement, we suspect are manipulated.’

Dr Dawson-Ahmoah, who was flanked by N. Venkatesh, Vice Chairman of the association and Prakash Bhatt, an executive director, called on the appropriate state institutions to ensure a level playing field in the industry.

The retail prices of competitors are below ours and looking at the cost of bagged cement overseas together with freight, the importers are doing so much damage to the local manufacturers, it indicated.

‘Now the importation of cement from China is killing our businesses and more hurriedly putting a lot of the jobs of both our direct and indirect employees who are mostly bread winners of Ghanaian families at stake.

‘The importers are undercutting because they are under-declaring.’

Complaints to Trade minister
Members of the association noted that they met the Minister of Trade & Industry over the issue, who referred it to the Tariffs Advisory Board.

The matter was further forwarded to the Customs Division of GRA and also the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance.

‘Our initial investigation at customs revealed that the value being declared by importers was understated. Our worry now is customs is delaying the release of a conclusive competitive valuation of imported cement which includes cost and freight of imported cement from China.’

Need for level playing field
Noting that cement imports from China increased in 2014, Dr Dawson-Ahmoah added: ‘We are not against competition because of trade liberalization policy in Ghana. But we are saying there should be fair level playing field. Our petition to minister was on the unfair trade practices.’

Touching on the valuation for bagged cement from China, he said freight on board (FOB) was $50 per metric tonne sometime back but it had been slashed to $25 per metric tonne.

‘We find a variation of the valuation being given by Ghana Link to importers from China. When we complained it shot up again. We suspect a fishy deal in the undulating trend in the valuation.

‘When we protested, the importation of cement from China slowed down. To date, importers of the products have not showed up to put up a protest. Now values are being adjusted and we are demanding a competitive value.

‘We suspect that a proposed review is being made for FCB to be pegged at $76. It should not be less than $85 per tonne.

The manufactures said their production capacity had reduced by almost half owing to the development, adding that the quality of imported cement from China was questionable.

‘This amounts to cheating revenue-wise, and if this is allowed to continue, there would be retrenchment.

‘We can also decide to go into importation. But is that what the country’s authorities are calling for?’

According to the association, SOL Ghana International Limited, Tujian Sento Industry Limited and their Ghanaian cronies are mainly behind the importation of cement from China, which started at the end of 2013.

The importation of cement from China has been prohibited in Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa.

By Samuel Boadi

Read more at: http://www.modernghana.com/news/632566/1/cement-manufacturers-suspect-ghana-link.html


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