Paperless Port picture
Paperless Port picture

To help improve revenue collection as well as enhancing and facilitating the operations of goods clearing at the ports, the government in month introduced the paperless system at the ports of Ghana.

These brought a hullabaloo among key stakeholders which nearly saw the system truncated.

But, as deliberations and education intensified among these stakeholders, consensus was built which brought relief to the system operators.

Barely, over a month of implementation, the government has boasted of revenue increase at the ports and thereby sees the paperless system as more effective and efficient.

However, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, has charged personnel of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) division and other key stakeholders in critical operational areas to play a leading role in the provision of single window and e-solution services in Africa.

This, according to him, will go a long way to promote trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation in Africa, stressing that the single-window platform was a win-win for all stakeholders, as it helps to simplify port operations and transactions.

Speaking at the closing session of the sixth International Single-Window Conference and Exhibition last week in Accra, Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay stressed the need for the customs personnel at the ports, boarders and critical operational areas to support the implementation of the paperless port project and single window concepts.

He touched on the implementation of the paperless port project initiated by the current administration to address the issue of revenue leakages at the ports.

He urged African countries which signed onto the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to embrace the single window and e-solution services.

Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay stated that a single-window was feasible if attention was paid to critical factors in its implementation such as the political will, the legal framework, technical issues, business model and stakeholder coordination.

In January 2017, according to him, Ghana signed onto the Trade Facilitation Agreement which seeks to make cross-border trade across the globe much easier.

Meanwhile, the Chairman and CEO of DP World, Ahmed Bin Sulayem has expressed optimism about the systems being introduced by his company; Customs world to breach the current glitches in the paperless clearance system in the country.

Dubai-based company, Customs World, which is a subsidiary of Ports Customs and Free Zones Corporation (PCFC) has acquired West Blue Ghana Limited in the provision of a national single window and risk management system in Ghana.

The Information Technology systems providers for the paperless processes, were mainly West Blue Consulting and the GCNet but has been acquired by Dubai based company, Custom World.

Speaking to pressmen at the sidelines of their visit for the Flagstaff House, Mr. Sulayem said that the investments being introduced by his company; Customs World will secure Ghana a more efficient service as far as operations at the country’s ports and customs operations is concerned.

“we believe that the investment we have in this company will be the vehicle to introduce and develop systems that will allow people in the logistics and Cargo business to be able to communicate to each other and finalze transaction in a good time”, he said.

Customs World, under the Ports Customs Free Zones Corporation founded DP World, which is currently present in 40 countries and 78 ports around the world including Australia, US, United Kingdom, France, Korea, Canada, Belgium, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and India.

In 2016, Dubai Customs received an award for innovation from the World Customs Organisation, which is the highest award for the maturity of a customs organisation.

In 2012, the World Customs Organisation gave them a certificate to recognise them as a benchmark for industry practices citing that “Dubai Customs has an impressive range of IT Systems which can be rightly regarded as World Class in which other Customs Administrations around the world could learn from.”

-Adnan Adams Mohammed

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