Business News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism Chaired by the Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency and the Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover has engaged various stakeholders in the port sector to appraise their preparedness for the September first deadline for the implementation of the three directives given by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The directives included a Joint Port Mandatory Inspection by September 1st, a 100% paperless transaction at the Ports and the removal of all customs barriers at the country’s corridors by September 1st, 2017.
The chairman of the Committee told stakeholders to as a matter of urgency integrate their systems for the smooth take-off by the 1st of September.
The Information Technology support service providers equally spoke on what had been put in place to ensure the directive is successfully adhered to.
The Deputy Managing Director of GCNet, Emmanuel Darko said his outfit will provide hand held devices to facilitate their work.
Emmanuel Darko, the deputy General Manager of GCNet stressed the need for the Ministry of Interior and the Finance to be integrated onto the eMDA system in order for them to monitor transactions going on in the trade and revenue chain.
He said GCNet is ready to demonstrate their readiness for the paperless system before the September 1st deadline.
The CEO of West blue consulting, Valentina Minta stressed the need for all eMDAs to share data and also integrate their systems. This, according to her will ensure trade facilitation.
Representatives of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, GPHA explained the progress of work on the JADE system which will allow for the handling of cargo electronically.
The Monitoring Manager at GPHA, Josphine Gyimah Akuafo said already vessel booking to the port has been made electronic while putting in place additional measures for online payments.
The acting Commissioner of Customs, Isaac Crentsil said the Vice President’s directive for all customs barriers to be removed on the country’s corridor will be carried out except that some barriers would have to be maintained for security purposes and also to check smuggling.
On the paperless directive, he charged importers to be truthful by avoiding under declaration in the submission of their documents to customs.
Other regulatory agencies like the Ghana Standards Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Atomic Energy among others also pledged their readiness to the paperless system and joint inspection at the ports.
Prof. Gyan Baffour believes the directive when carried out will go a long way to make the port efficient and lead to an increase in government’s revenue.
The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders also stated that they have educated their members ahead of the 1st September deadline so as to allay their fears of being kicked out of business.