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Business News of Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Source: Eye on Port

Customs engages stakeholders on redesigning paperless export process

Stakeholders at the Customs' engagement meeting Stakeholders at the Customs' engagement meeting

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and its partner agencies including the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority have met with stakeholders in the export sector to discuss measures that would produce a flawless flow in the paperless design for export.

This follows the initiative of the Director General of GPHA, Paul Ansah, of augmenting the potential of the export trade in Ghana.

The heads of the institutions directly involved in the export business had earlier met with the Director General to discuss their individual roles to realize this vision.

At the recent meeting, Customs took the stakeholders through the blueprint of the paperless flow for the export trade in a presentation.

The officials said the aim of customs in optimizing the export process is to leverage on the back of ICT making all procedures paperless.

“What we want to do is to strengthen the export and re- export control. We want to first to minimize revenue leakage with respect to refund and drawback”, Chief Revenue Officer, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority John Acquah said.

He said measures are to be implemented to replace physical examination with scans, which he said will facilitate the clearance processes.

“We just want to do away with physical examinations and rely on scans unless there is a problem with it”, Chief Revenue Officer, Mr Philip Agbeko Dawuso added.

To avoid the unfortunate incidence of rejection of goods exported, Food and Drugs Authority said it was incumbent on Customs to ensure that goods are certified by the FDA before being exported.

“Customs, being the last point of call should check the certificates of FDA before leaving the shores of Ghana. We want to emphasize on standards and quality, these are important issues considered outside”, Jake Amoako Mensah, Food and Drug Board admonished.

The National Security Coordinator emphasized the importance of his outfit in the export chain.

“The members of security should be captured more in this process. Trade facilitation is good but we don’t have to sacrifice the security of this huge facility in the port while carrying out this process”, Sub Lt. Christian Tettey opined.

The Ghana Shippers’ Authority, however, alerted that, for the port to have a successful export trade, it should be supported with the right infrastructure.

“The single scanner at the export terminal has been taken away so at the export terminal we don’t have a scanner yet we are proposing that all export containers are going to be scanned”, Head of Freight and Logistics, Ghana Shippers Authority, Fred Asiedu-Dartey said.

The General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor explained that the proposed export paperless platform should capture shipping lines and require them to update their processes.

“The current system makes provision for the lines to advise us. For example, if you are going to export empties, they advise us on the quantities with the container numbers even before they start coming to our gate. So that we would know and make room for the area that will consolidate the containers before they even start moving the boxes to the gate of the port,” she suggested.