Monrovia – The Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), in collaboration with several of its partners has set up a working group to address challenges holding back trade efficiency in Liberia.
The working group, set up at the just ended Liberia Trade Facilitation Forum held in Monrovia under the auspices of PATEL, was organized to address diverse challenges and bottlenecks through the creation of a framework for reducing trade cost.
PATEL is made of Liberian small businesses and entrepreneur groups envision to promote economic self-reliance, capacity development, trade, and general advocacy for the business community.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa at the end of the event on June 8, the President of PATEL, Presley S. Tenwah said the forum contained provisions for expending the movement, release and clearance of goods form the port including goods from cross border. He said the forum was also put in place measures for co-corporation between customs, consignees and appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
Also highlighted include the establishment of single national window system to route all import related formalities including declaration, examination, sampling and clearance, among others.
The forum also called for digital or paperless filing of import/export documentation, simplification of fees and charges for various clearance related activities at every borders and port of entry, publishing of resource information, procedures for import/export laws & regulation.
There have been increasing discontent by importers including Liberian business owners over the huge tariff charged by shipping companies. The situation has caught the attention of the Legislature, and despite several interventions, the tariff keeps climbing.
Mr. Tenwah said the forum sought to explore the entire maritime and shipping sector, and to help policymakers in designing and implementing national laws and regulations regarding trade and transport services in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the organizing committee’s over all task is to sponsor and drive forward a national trade facilitation strategy, monitor progress, and periodically report progress to the government of Liberia.
The committee will document all the details including challenges and recommendations to the Technical Economic Management Team and other relevant partners, according to PATEL.
It comprised of the Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Justice, as well as the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), PATEL, Liberia Business Association (LIBA) and the Chamber of Commerce. with the aim
The forum was attended by representatives and observers drawn from several government, private and multilateral institutions, including the Ministries of Commerce, Finance, Transport and Justice. Others include the Liberia Better Business Forum, Importers Associations, Shippers Associations, Liberian Chamber of Commerce, National Investment Commission, Customs Brokers, Truckers Association, BIVAC, Shipping Lines in Liberia, APM Terminals, World Bank Group – Investment Climate Advisory