Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority and the leadership of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority have held a review meeting to evaluate the paperless port clearance procedures whose implementation at Ghana’s ports begun some six months ago.
The two institutions had come to the understanding, that although the paperless port clearance processes had yielded tremendous impact in the last period of its implementation, especially in the areas of revenue generation and ease of doing business, the system had also not been without some technical difficulties.
This is what motivated the Port Authority to have an initial dialogue with Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, a leading agency as far as Port processes and operations are concerned.
The preliminary dialogue is to raise some of the pertinent challenges and identify possible remedies prior to meeting a bigger forum comprising other stakeholder agencies.
The deliberation was centered on ten-point challenges raised by the Port Authority in the areas of:
1) The Correlation between CMRs and Customs Declaration
2) One Declaration cleared from two different terminals
3) Short collection
4) Premises Examination
5) Unmanifested Cargoes-Baggage (No Entry)
6) Post Entries After Clearance
7) First release and opening of containers (consolidation)
8) Empty Container Evacuation
9) Partial Delivery
10) Transfer of Containers by Private CFS
The Deliberations revealed a number of gray areas of difficulties that required further consultations by the two agencies separately, and among other service providers in order to obtain lasting resolutions.
Both the Director General of GPHA and the Commissioner of Customs were excited about the bilateral deliberations and promised to separately tackle the issues raised in their respective organizations.
“It is my hope that we follow through the road map we have identified to the conclusion so that we would be able to address these challenges successfully and come up with the flawless paperless system that will help us achieve the maximum objective,” the Director General, Paul Asare of GPHA expressed.
The Commissioner of Customs also said, “even though we are going to take this to a bigger forum in the evaluation process, it is good that we are have started here early so that we come out with concrete procedures so that when we meet the larger forum we will be able to come out successfully”.
The Board Chairman of GPHA, Peter Mac Manu who walked through the deliberations briefly congratulated Customs and GPHA for exhibiting harmonization in the interest of the state.