Business News of Monday, 16 March 2015
The Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) is undertaking stakeholders’ education to deepen understanding of the Advanced Shipment Information System (ASHI), which implementation begins in April.
The Transport Minister, Mrs Dzifa Aku Attivor, said education was necessary to enhance the knowledge of stakeholders about how the system operates.
She was speaking during a courtesy call on her by a delegation from the Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC), led by its Secretary General, Mr Adamou Saley Abdourahamane.
The ASHI is an electronic platform by which relevant shipment information is received in advance of a vessel’s arrival to facilitate pre-arrival clearance processes.
Mrs Attivor said implementation of ASHI had delayed because most members were not well informed, about the system, necessitating a shift in the implementation date to April next month, within which time we will be able to educate them to be comfortable with the implementation of ASHI.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the system about the programme hence the need to embark on consultation and education to allay the fears of shippers and the general public,” she said.
The Sector Minister said the security aspect of the system should be of concern to stakeholders as that could help nip in the bud the importation of manner of goods and services into the country.
Mr Abdourahamane said it was important all member countries of the union implemented the system in their respective countries since it would help harmonise the rules and regulations among member countries of the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA).
He said the implementation of ASHI is a recommendation adopted by the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), comprising 17 West and Central African states.
So far 15 countries out of the 17 are implementing the ASHI except Ghana and Mali.
The Authority said the implementation of the system would cut down demurrage and reduce rent, the two major problems affecting shippers.
Also, the implementation of the system would not bring any additional documentation and cost to importers.
So far over 1,896 persons abroad have registered to use the ASHI to do business.