Gov’t to introduce reforms to reduce cost of doing business at ports

Government is set to introduce fresh set of measures to help reduce the cost of doing business at the country’s ports. 

The measures were captured in the Finance Ministry reforms strategy document set to roll out very soon.

According to a statement from the Finance Ministry copied to JoyBusiness, “government, in the coming weeks, will implement a comprehensive and wide-ranging review of all port activities and charges.”

This according to the statement will help to:
1.    Increase transparency by publishing all fees and charges related to trade
2.    Improve costing methods so that fees recuperate the cost of services; and 
3.    Ensure that fees are reviewed regularly with the view of reducing them as trade expands.
The additional measures set to ensure that the country’s ports are run efficiently and the cost of doing business reduced will include:
1.    Align fees and charges to the cost of the services to which they pertain
2.    Eliminate multiple charges by MDAs and other government agencies for the same services
3.    Eliminate unofficial charges 
4.    Improve the system of joint inspections to reduce time spent at the Ports and the attendant demurrage costs.

Past measures

The government has over the past two years put in several processes to facilitate international trade and ease of clearance of goods. To support this, Ghana ratified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in January 2017 to expedite movement, release and clearance of traded goods. 
Pursuant to this government has taken the following actions:
1.    Removed all customs barriers in the country’s transit corridor; 
2.    Instituted joint inspection by all border agencies; and 
3.    Implemented the paperless transaction system at the ports. 

This has led to a reduction in the cost of clearance for a 20 footer container from One thousand two hundred and eighty thousand Cedis to three hundred and twenty Cedis and reduced clearance time from two weeks to four days.

Government is however not satisfied with this achievement and wants to pursue the ultimate goal to be the most competitive Port in the Region hence the need to implement these new measures. 

“As we conclude the IMF programme, we must to take bold steps and continue policies that maintain macro stability and fiscal discipline and effect policies to enhance trade flows while reducing imported inflation in order to bolster our foreign exchange reserves.” 

“We reiterate that we are committed to establishing Ghana as the Regional trade hub in West Africa,” the statement added.

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