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Business News of Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Tema Port Long Room empty as paperless system starts

The Long Room area at the Tema Port which used to be busy is today empty due to the implementation of the paperless policy.

Hitherto, scores of freight forwarders used to throng the area to process their documents to clear their goods from the port.

Under the system, clearing of goods at the ports are expected to be automated to reduce the time of doing business.

A visit by Citi Business News to the area showed just a handful of freight forwarders going about their normal duties.

In an interview with Citi Business News, some of the port agents expressed mixed reactions about the implementation of the paperless system. One agent expressed uncertainties about the system, but was optimistic that the system would eventually serve the best purpose.

“We are looking at the whole system with a bit of skepticism because we don’t know how it is going to work but we hope that everything goes on well”.

Another person said, “Right now as I speak to you there have been several declarations that have been sent already that are in the system so we are still using paper so with the paperless, we are yet to send in the declaration to actually see how the process is, we really don’t know much about it.”

Others, however, expressed their disappointment at the lack of education before the process was rolled out.

“For me I am not ready because we didn’t get enough education on the whole system. So we do not know how it is going to start or end.

Moreover, our system is too weak to accommodate everything through the paperless system .So as long as the system is weak I think it’s going to affect some of consignments to go on demurrage and stuff which will result in challenges for us. Some of us may have to stay back and wait for about six months to know the system well before we can work”.

Another agent who gave his name as Kofi appealed to the government to hold on with its implementation to allow for better education.

“I have about three containers so I think that the whole process is being rushed. I think we should really take our time and pilot it over a period to ensure it is well understood before we take off but I think there is a bit of haste with this whole implementation.

Citi Business News can also confirm that as of today 4th September 2017 custom commissioners asked freight forwarders not to come to the long room anymore. –