Business News of Thursday, 14 June 2018
The number of agencies undertaking joint inspections at Ghana’s ports is expected to reduce from 16 to 3.
This will take effect on July 1, 2018.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who made this known at the MOBEX Tech Expo, is optimistic this decision will enhance efficiency at the country’s ports.
The only three agencies to undertake the inspection will now be the Ghana Standards Authority, the Food and Drugs and Authority and the Customs Division.
The National Security and the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), are only expected to join as and when it becomes necessary.
Economic Adviser to the Vice President, Dr Gideon Boako, said the move is expected to also reduce clearing time at the ports.
“The terms of the measures are to reduce the number of agencies that are undertaking inspections from 16 to 3, and so from 1st of July, it will be only the Ghana Standards Authority, the Food and Drugs Authority, and the Customs Division will be doing the joint inspection.”
“NACOB and National Security may come in only when they have intelligence on a particular container carrying some goods that are forbidden by law to enter the corners of this country; and by reducing the number from 16, it means the turn around time or how long importers would have to wait to clear their goods will reduce,” said Dr. Boako.
Bureaucracy at ports
This move, combined with the implementation of the paperless system may come in handy for importers who in some cases spend so much time clearing goods at the ports.
Several investigations including one by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, have revealed how customs officials have circumvented processes for clearing goods at the ports to make money out of the system.
Goods imported spend weeks and in some cases months before they are cleared.
Importers are in some instances compelled to make huge payments before their goods are cleared.