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Ghana-EU Trade Ghana begins life after signing the Economic Partnership Agreement

The Rule of Origin are criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports.

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Hannah Tetteh, Foreign Affairs Minister play

Hannah Tetteh, Foreign Affairs Minister

Government has began  making needed arrangements to accommodate changes in business transaction after signing the Economic Partnership Agreement.

The Trades Ministry, Wednesday announced commencement of a nationwide training program for staff of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to equip them with the ability to enforce compliance of the EPA’s rule of origin.

The Rule of Origin are criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports.

It is believed that an efficient understanding of the Rule of Origin  is critical in how exporters and importers adjust to the EPA and its ramifications.

READ MORE: Economic Zone Hannah Tetteh disputes claims EPA was poorly debated in parliament

An international trades expert, Martin Wilde says a proper understanding of the Rule of Origin in international trade will help Ghanaian importers and exporters properly label their products for clear identifies the origin of exports from Ghana, in order to enjoy duty-free entry into the EU markets, as stipulated by the EPAs.

 “Rules of origin gives an economic nationality to a product and if for example cocoa that is produced in Ghana, that is only obtained from Ghana. Preferential rules of origin, the EPA which is a free trade agreement, it allows exporters to export without any duty to the European Union,” he stated.

Mr. Wilde also believes there is the need to equip the country’s revenue collection agencies to be able to meet internationally accepted standards for exports.

“So it is a case of raising awareness and putting policies and regulations in place to ensure that both customs and traders apply the rules correctly.”

The EPA ensures a  duty-free and quota free access to the EU market for an unlimited period for all exports to EU originating from Ghana.

In return Ghana will gradually liberalize 75 percent of imports from the EU over 20 years.

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