The government has announced the suspension of the Export and Import Regulations 2023 Bill, halting its planned implementation after facing significant opposition.
The Legislative Instrument seeks to restrict the importation of 22 selected strategic goods such as rice, Guts, bladders and stomach of animals, Poultry, Animal and Vegetable Oil, Margarine and Fruit Juices.
The rest are; Soft Drink, Mineral Water, Noodles and Pasta, Ceramic Tiles, Corrugated Paper and Paper Board, Mosquito Coil and Insecticides, Soaps and Detergents, Motor Cars, Iron and Steel, Cement, Polymers (Plastics and Plastic Products), Fish, Sugar, Clothing and Apparel, Biscuits and Canned Tomatoes.
The decision to pause the bill’s introduction follows widespread criticism from the Minority caucus in Parliament, as well as trade industry stakeholders.
Concerns focused on the lack of adequate consultation and the potential for increased corruption under the proposed regulations.
Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah confirmed the suspension, stating that it would allow for further engagement with stakeholders and ensure everyone is on the same page.
He emphasized the importance of this engagement, highlighting the goal of boosting local production of these goods.
“There is the need to get everyone rallying around it because it will ensure that the local production of these items are boosted,” the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP said, adding, “The idea is to ensure that the outstanding stakeholders get an opportunity to have their views expressed and considered.”