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Ports go paperless from September: Veep outlines new procedure

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has outlined the new steps rolled out by the Nana Akufo-Addo government to change the face of operations at the ports in the country aimed at automating and making them paperless.

These are moves by government to help improve operations at the ports to meet international standard and are expected to begin on September 1.

He bemoaned the current operations at the port citing inexplicable charges, delays, lack of transparency and the overall complexities in the operations of the ports as some of the reasons why things must change.

Explaining the motive for the new plan in a speech delivered Wednesday, August 2, 2017, the Vice President said:

“We are moving from a system of applying sub standard and unnecessary complex procedures at the port to a system which meets international standards. We need value for money as a nation and we are going to insist on it.”

The Vice President stated that the 3 key measures that will drive the change will include the removal of customs barriers within the country, Mandatory Joint Inspections and a paperless port. He emphasized that the ultimate aim is to automate and streamline the various services at the port to avoid duplication.

He further stated that government hopes to be able to speed up the processes at the ports to make them internationally competitive. He explained,

“Our goal within the next six months is to have a robust risk engine which will grant customs clearance in a maximum of 4 hours. Dubai customs is able to grant customs clearance in 1 and ½ seconds and so Ghana can definitely aim for 4 hours”

The vice president added that government has consulted with experienced international parties who did gap analysis and recommended solutions so they are positive on the effective implementation of the project. He thus called for cooperation from all stakeholders to make the exercise efficient. He cautioned that non-compliance from agencies will not stop the implementation of the project. He cautioned,

“All of you have been engaged and must aim to do your part to make our port paperless. We will not accept any excuses. Agencies or service providers who are not ready to go paperless by September 1st will not be allocated any cargo”

The Vice Resident then took members of the Ghana Revenue Authority through the steps of the new port operations: from pre-clearance to post-clearance, that are supposed to be implemented by all ports in the country beginning September 1 2017.

By P.D Wedam | 3news.com

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