Home Economy At Free Port of Monrovia: Business Community In Rage… Over Charge Increment To 3% On Imported Goods; Opposes Third Party Arrangement

At Free Port of Monrovia: Business Community In Rage… Over Charge Increment To 3% On Imported Goods; Opposes Third Party Arrangement

by newsmanager

By Elbie Sebleh
MONROVIA: The Fula Business Association and National Custom Brokers Association of Liberia (NCBAL) have described as “unfair” the additional burden of third-party engagement charges of 1. 2 % on imported commodities with Metech Scientific.

At a Joint press conference of the Fula Business Association and the National Custom Brokers Association of Liberia (NCBAL) held over the weekend in Monrovia, Fula Business Association President, Mr. Mohammed Barry, said surprisingly to the business community in 2021, Metech Scientific surfaced in the business community and moved the 1.2% on imported goods to 3% which they rejected.

According to him, for over two years the company has been collecting 1.2% and up to now there is no up to date documentary scanning machine as instructed by the World Trade Organizations (WTO), and the warehouses hasn’t been constructed among other things for which the money is being collected.

“We expect them by now to construct a warehouse that will accommodate 50 containers. So, they have been collecting free money, coupled with other challenges surrounding our engagement with BIVAC, Mr. Barry told journalists.

Moreover, according to him, Metech Scientific is the only office that receives documents instead of three days maximum that the government of Liberia requires, it will take two to three weeks which is a serious challenge causing storage and demurrage

He, therefore called on the government of Liberia through President Joseph Nyuma Boakai that ‘there should be no business as usual.’.
He stressed that they don’t need Metech Scientific, because the Liberia Revenue Authority can perform that responsibility outsourced to the company.

Barry then recommended that there is “one of the two things LRA can do, either to maintain Metech and get rid of Custom, or remove Metech Scientific and maintain custom to do the job.”

He also told the press conference of an inappropriate regulation required by the shipping line. The Business Community needs 24 hours services at the Freeport of Monrovia to enhance business activities

Also speaking at the press conference, the Secretary of the National Custom Brokers Association of Liberia (NCBAL), Mr. Morris Kiatamba, decried the deplorable condition in the services of Metech Scientific. He stressed that the World Trade Organization (WTO) frowns on third party arrangement.

He also indicated that third party denies Government’s of its rightful revenue. The work done by Metech Scientific is an outsourced role given by the LRA which further imposes extra burdens on businesses.

The Secretary General of NCBAL also spoke of the Ministry of Commence function being overlooked by Metech Scientific, which, according to him, has been “doing just documentary inspections for the past two years without direct benefits to the Business Community.”

The NCBAL believes that the process begins from the Ministry of Commence and leads straight to the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), which significantly helps raise the lawful revenue of the Liberian government on imported goods.

“Under this new administration of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, we need to have no third-party arrangement which the WTO detest, let deal with the transaction level value which is an approved global standard”, Mr. Kiatamba expressed.

Speaking on the shipping line, he mentioned that Liberia is the only country that the legal tender has been nullified for transaction in paying for services with these companies, Mr. Kiatamba sees this as a technical barrier to trade and called on the government of Liberia to intervene.

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