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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone,Trade Ministry Establishes Trade Facilitation Committee
By Lansana Bayoh Sesay
Mar 28, 2013, 17:08
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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara has established a trade facilitation committee to streamline the import and export procedures, eliminated the bottlenecks and review charges at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay.

 

The Committee is comprised of officials in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sierra Leone Business Forum, National Revenue Authority, Sierra Leone Ports Authority and representatives of the Clearing and Forwarding Association as well as the Sierra Leone Importers Associations.

 

Addressing stakeholders in the trade business at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara reiterated government's commitment in creating the enabling environment for the promotion of direct foreign and domestic trade.

 

He noted the importance of trade in President Ernest Koroma's Agenda for Prosperity to improve the country's economy and the living standard of the people.

 

The Trade and Industry Minister described the problems highlighted by stakeholders in the trade business as inimical to the development of the country and called for collaboration to improve the situation.


The Coordinator, Doing Business Reforms in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ms. Saffie Deen-Tarawallie said that the sector has to be improved for Sierra Leone to be ranked top in the world Bank Doing Business Reforms annual report in May 2013.

 

The President of the Clearing and Forwarding Association, Akim Bangura said the issues of demurrage and port charges as well as congestion at the ports are impacting negatively on transactions there.

 

He said unlike neighbouring countries, demurrage is charged 15 days, with the exception of Saturdays, Sunday and holidays after a ship births, whilst in Sierra Leone, demurrage is charged 5 days, without exception to Saturdays, Sundays and holidays and the ports charges were increased by over 40%.

 

Mr. Bangura said the stalk pilling of containers, resulting to congestion is causing serious delays in removing containers at the Ports.

 

The President of the Clearing and Forwarding Association Highlighted the disparity in the duty charges between the custom department and Africa link and the closing of the operation of the ASSYCUDA after 6: pm on working days, as serious bottlenecks which require urgent solutions.


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