Vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has announced Ghana is going 100 per cent paperless at the ports from September 1, 2017.
“From September 1, however we do it, because the technology is available, Ghana is going 100 per cent paperless at the ports to bring about efficiency, Customs, GRA, GPHA take notice,” the vice president announced at the Port Efficiency Conference in Accra Wednesday.
He announced three major policy initiatives at the conference aimed at clearing key bottlenecks at the ports.
According to him, all customs road barriers in Ghana are to be removed and the personnel deployed elsewhere effective September 1.
He stressed that the directives are part of measures to make Ghana’s ports very competitive in the sub region. He said the government wants to make the Takoradi and Tema ports the preferred destination.
“This single window, double window matter, we have to deal with it. The whole issue that has to do with the presence of multiple agencies at the ports, we are going to deal with it, we are not going to wait for months to come but in four weeks’ time… we have these three policy items that we are announcing today but in another four weeks when we resolve recommendations of this conference we will be announcing those decisions at that point in time.
“We’ve been looking at these issues for a while and there is no need to really delay on certain things. From September 1, we want to see mandatory joint inspections and examinations of containers at the ports.
“Secondly, from September 1, however we do it, because the technology is available, Ghana is going 100 per cent paperless at the ports to bring about efficiency, Customs, GRA, GPHA take notice.”
“The third policy reform that we are implementing is to do with the transit corridors and the barriers that are there that inhibits as far as transit trade is concerned.
“We want to from September 1, and Customs you have time to do this, all internal Customs barriers are eliminated from September 1 in Ghana, all of them. We are eliminating them and we’ve done discussions with the Minister of National Security on this.
“It will really change Ghana’s competitiveness in the sub region, we’ve looked at the revenues that are being generated from these barriers and they are really nothing to write home about, but the cost to the consumers and trackers and so on.
“So we will want to give Customs the opportunity to re-deploy these staff from the various areas. We want to strengthen tracking and checking at the ports, that is the first order of business,” the Vice President said.