The Ministry of Trade and Industry is to limit the importation of cement into the country as part of measures to boost local manufacture of the product.
The move is expected to help regulate the importation of cement, which has risen to one million metric tonnes in recent years.
A statement from the ministry said the increased imports placed additional pressure on local manufacturers, hence, the need to regularise the activity through a Legislative Instrument.
National consumption of cement currently stands at six million metric tonnes per annum, although local manufacturers have the capacity to produce about nine million metric tonnes in a year.
That notwithstanding, some one million tonnes of the product is imported into the country every year, resulting in increased pressure on the activities of the manufacturers and consequent standoff between the companies and the importers.
The standoffs have led to counter petitions from both sides, with each side accusing the other of unfair trade.
This is unhealthy, the statement said.
“To bring sanity into the sector, bring relief to local manufacturers and facilitate international trade, the Ministry of Trade and Industry proposes through an LI, to impose a ceiling on the annual importation of cement into Ghana,” it said.
The ministry, thus, encouraged companies and individuals wishing to import the product to register with the ministry on or before March 31 to be permitted to import.
It, however, explained that “companies that are legitimately licensed under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS’) Trade Liberalisation Scheme are exempted from the need to apply for permits.
It further welcomed comments and suggestions from the general public on the matter.