Public Notice of Intended Executive Action Aimed at Protecting the Local Cement Industry From Cheap Imports
In recent months, there have been claims and counter claims from different interest groups in the cement import and distribution sector. The claims have revolved around alleged low-priced dumping of imported cement. Other complaints have centred on the value that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) should rate cement imported into the country.
Currently, cement manufacturers in Ghana have a production capacity of nearly 9 million metric tonnes per year, while national consumption is less than 6 million; this means an overcapacity of some 3 million tonnes per annum. Current imports of more than 1 million tonnes of cement per annum places additional pressure on local manufacturers.
The conflicts in the industry have led to the filing of competing petitions by local cement manufacturers and the cement importers. This standoff is unhealthy. To bring sanity into the sector, bring relief to local manufacturers and facilitate international trade, the Ministry of Trade and Industry proposes through Legislative Instrument to impose a ceiling on the annual importation of cement into Ghana. Companies that wish to import bagged cement shall be issued a permit to avoid the chaos that has lately saddled the sector. The limited imports will prevent local manufacturers from taking undue price advantage of consumers.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, therefore, gives all cement importers up to 31st March 2016 to register with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Companies that are legitimately licensed under the ECOWAS Trade Liberation Scheme are exempted from the need to apply for permits.
Comments, opinions and recommendations are welcomed from legitimate stakeholders in the cement industry.
Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah