West Blue Consulting, a world-class business and IT consulting and technology firm, has provided a single platform to boost courier services in the country.
The platform, which forms part of the Pre-Arrival and Assessment Report System (PAARS) of the National Single Window, has placed the country’s courier services on international stage and enhanced government revenue since December 2016.
The PAARS is an integrated system which cuts down the human elements, processes and duration of post and cargo clearance in a transparent way.
It also affords all stakeholders the opportunity to the clearance process at every stage.
Before West Blue Consulting introduced the concept last December, courier service was a tedious task.
Customs officers previously had to manually go through each of the clearance processes by sorting, classifying, valuating and examining, which involved a lot of paper work.
One previously could use the whole day or more to clear a simple parcel.
In some instances, clients, in their quest to clear simple parcels, had to seek letters of clearance from some state institutions and agencies.
With the introduction of PAARS, it now takes between 10 to 15 minutes to clear a parcel, once all the forms have been correctly filled and bills paid where necessary.
With the PAAR, an importer does not have to be physically present to know what stage an expected courier parcel or goods have reached, as the process at every stage could be monitored online if the importer has access to internet services.
It is also possible for one to know before the arrival of the parcel, what the charges are and make payment to the banks and sit home to expect the parcel.
Selected banks that have approval for the collection of payments from declarants (Ecobank and Ghana Commercial Banks) are also hooked to the system.
The agencies, through which the parcels or goods are imported to Ghana (DHL, FEDEX and ARAMEX), are also hooked onto the system to allow for easy and efficient work flow.
The system also allows declarants, who are not satisfied with charges to protest and subsequently call for review.
West Blue has provided machines, scanners, laptops and printers, among other equipment, at the courier services centres at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to boost its operations.
The company also provides training for Customs officers and other stakeholders on the efficient use of the system.
By Cephas Larbi