Business News of Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Dr Ekow Spoi-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, has hinted that export and import stakeholders would meet on January 7th to address the challenges associated with the clearing systems at Ghana’s airports and harbours.
According to him, exporters and importers had expressed several frustrations they faced in their operations which made the cost of doing business in the country’s ports expensive and time-consuming.
Dr Spio-Garbrah, who paid an unannounced visit to the Tema Harbour, said government would create a fast clearing system as part of a grand programme to create a conducive business environment at the ports.
“Government’s single window approach would not sacrifice national security, revenue collection, standards, among other important national commitments.”
At the Gateway Service Limited (GSL), Mr Charles Okyine, Scanner Manager, lamented that the physical sighting and inspection of already verified containers by scanners undermined the purpose of scanning in the clearing chain.
According to him, if during the scanning, undeclared substances are detected, relevant bodies are duty bound to physically verify contents, but not when nothing strange has been picked.
At the long room, where customs verifies documentation of imports and exports, Alhaji Osman Awudu, Assistant Commissioner, Custom Division, Ghana Revenue Authority, appealed for a dedicated scanner to help reduce congestion.
He said all agencies collaborate in all areas at the port and asked that importers especially should be well educated on the clearing systems to prevent unnecessary delays due to non-compliance to laid-down regulations.