Importers to clear goods in 4 hours at Ghana’s ports – Bawumia

Importers will from September 1, 2017, spend at most four hours to clear their goods from the various ports in the country, the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.

This is as a result of a complete automation of the systems at the country’s ports.

Addressing importers, customs officers and other stakeholders at the Flagstaff House, Wednesday, the Vice President said the move by government is to ensure efficiency at the ports and move Ghana a notch higher.

The country’s ports have for years been seen to be a den for corruption. Several investigations including the undercover investigations by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, showed how some Customs officers circumvented processes to make money out of system.

Goods imported spend several days, weeks sometimes months at the Ports with importers huffing and puffing over delays.

They then pay huge monies to officers in order to have their goods cleared as quickly as possible.

With a new government in place and a promise to raise enough revenue to fund some of its ambitious policies, including one village one dam, one district one factory, there is the need to pluck all the loop holes in the country’s revenue generating areas to rake in more money to fund these activities.

The vice president assured all the bureaucratic processes at the ports which generates corrupt activities will end with the introduction of the automation processes at the ports.

From 1 September, we will “integrate the system and eliminate any form of duplication and make the system more seamless” Dr Bawumia said.

“This is to reduce hassle for importers and make the Finance Minister very happy,” he added.

The Ports terminal operating systems will have officials of the Ghana standards responsible for testing all activities at the ports, except for products to be inspected by the FDA.

The joint inspection and testing regime is to reduce time and cost of clearance at the ports, he indicated.

He hoped the new regime will also “reduce the headache for customs officers.”

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