The Shippers Authority has introduced the Advanced Shipment Information System (ASHI), an electronic information platform to effectively manage the huge volumes of imported goods.
The ASHI is an electronic platform by which relevant shipment information is received in advance of vessel arrival in Ghana to enable pre-arrival clearance processes.
This is to help minimize the cost of clearing cargo at the port by way of reducing delays and its attendant high demurrage and rent charges.
But some industry players have raised issues with this initiative. Many importers have resisted this move saying it is uncalled for.
President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Joseph Agbada tells Joy Business the ASHI is bringing nothing new to the system.
Ghana imports close to 12 million tonnes of cargo every year – ranging from used clothing, to vehicles and even foodstuffs.
ASHI is mainly meant to facilitate the work of the destination inspection companies which are responsible for issuing an importer with a final report with which he can clear his goods.
Importers have complained that it could take as long as 3 weeks to sometimes get this report.
ASHI seeks to rectify this problem. Head of Public Relations at the Ghana Shippers Authority, Dr. Fred Asiedu-Dartey says plans are underway to rope the DICs onto the system in a matter of two weeks.
Joy Business gathers the reason for the agitation could be that importers would no longer be able to cheat the system.
It is an open secret that many importers present invoices that are doctored so they can reduce the real value of their goods for cheaper import duty.
The system could bring an end to the many delays that accompany the process of clearing goods at the port.
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