GPHA achieves 99 per cent paperless system

By Laudia Sawer

Tema, Sept. 28, GNA – The Ghana Ports and
Harbours Authority (GPHA) has achieved a 99 per cent paperless operational
system, one year after its introduction into the country’s ports clearance
process.

The paperless port system, which was a
government policy announced by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in May 2017,
took off from September 1, 2017.

Mrs Esther Gyebi-Donkor, General Manager,
Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA, disclosing this, said the feat
included the integration of GPHA’s IT systems with Ghana Community Network
(GCNet)

Mrs Gyebi-Donkor added that the information
from shipping lines, manifest, and GPHA’s billing system had all been made
electronic as part of the paperless system.

She indicated that ECOBANK, and Agriculture
Development Bank (ADB) which are associate banks in the clearing process, had
also been integrated into the GCNet system making their information
electronically acquirable.

She, however, added that clients still make
physical payments at the banks, adding that strategies were being put in place
to make online payments available to stakeholders.

The one per cent remaining, she observed, had
to do with consolidated cargoes which were yet to be captured under the
paperless system.

She therefore charged stakeholders, especially
the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to make provision for
defining the inspection of goods, in the paperless process, to ensure maximum
efficiency.

Mrs Gyebi-Donkor said GPHA was putting in
place a system which would enable importers to access the needed information
which include handling charges to be paid.

This, she noted, would create a transparent
system for importers and the trading public.

Mrs Gyebi-Donkor added that one of the challenges
of the paperless system was when there were difficulties in receiving payment
information from the banks after customers had paid, saying in such situations
clients were required to provide hardcopies of invoices.

She indicated that, though to a large extent,
GPHA’s processes had been paperless, there was still a lot more to be done in
order to perfect the system adding that the short notice between the date the
directive was given and the implementation day created some initial challenges
in piloting a flawless process.

She said the paperless system had improved
container throughput tremendously, as according to her, the system led to the
reduction in turnaround time of vessels.

GNA

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