Port authorities defy appeals to suspend paperless system

Business News of Saturday, 2 September 2017

Source: citibusinessnews.com


Gyebi Donkor Esther GphaGeneral Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor

Officials of the Tema port have downplayed claims by the freight forwarders that the implementation of the paperless clearing system be postponed over low sensitization.

They have therefore dismissed any possibility to suspend the implementation of the policy.

The freight forwarders argue that the paperless system risks a major setback if government fails to address their concerns.

Some are pushing for the policy to be delayed until next year when the key concerns have been duly attended to.

But reacting to these assertions, the General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Marketing at the Tem port, Esther Gyebi Donkor maintained that the appeals could not be heeded to without the necessary approval.

“No new directive has come from the Presidency that the concerns by the freight forwarders have been considered so we will continue until we have any counter directive from the Presidency,” she explained.

The paperless clearing system is a directive from the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

It is among others expected to reduce corruption by limiting the level of human interaction and also cut back on the turnaround time for businesses clearing their goods.

The successful implementation of the policy is also expected to improve Ghana’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business.

The country is expected to inch up higher from the current 108th position it occupied in the 2016 ease of doing business ranking.

The Corporate Affairs Manager further indicated that the inconsistency in a preferred date by the importers and clearing agencies also defeats their calls albeit partially.

“It is the same old thing that the freight forwarders have been saying for the past weeks but for us we know we have had enough training and that the process would have to start from somewhere. Even the protests have not been consistent with a proposed date as each one is giving their own suggestions.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Isaac Crentsil has assured that his outfit will continue training the various stakeholders to reduce any level of apprehension.

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