The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has explained that when the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) assumes responsibility over destination inspection, it will help to simplify trade facilitation processes.
He said that would also improve customs procedures which would eventually translate into improved revenue generation.
Mr Iddrisu has, however, called for capacity building of customs personnel to enable them to discharge that function more efficiently.
The trade minister said this when the Secretary-General of World Customs Organisation (WCO), Mr Kunio Mikuriya, and officials of the GRA, called on him in his office at the ministries.
The trade minister said the government would equip all entry points with modern scanners to facilitate trade and improve revenue generation, saying “there are revenue leakages and every effort will be made to plug them to bring efficiency to enable the government derive the much needed revenue for national development.”
Mr Iddrisu said one of the best ways to improve revenue was the establishment of an integrated electronic/automated system to improve the operations of customs and gave an assurance that that would be put in place soon.
The trade and industry minister was optimistic that the WCO would assist the government in capacity building and other infrastructure required for effective customs operations.
He also pledged the commitment of the government to accede to the new Convention which would go a long way to improve customs procedures as a means of facilitating trade.
For his part, the secretary-general of WCO said his outfit was working with the African Union and the African Development Bank to boost intra African trade, which should come into force by 2017.
That could become a reality when trade facilitation is given a top priority, which requires a new role for customs to take the centre stage to fast-track the process, the secretary-general said.
He pledged the organisation’s support for capacity building and provision of scanners to customs to do detailed analysis of goods to facilitate trade and improve the technical-know-how of customs personnel.
He was full of praise for the government for supporting the candidature of Mr Alan Kyerematen for the post of World Trade Organisation Secretay-General.
Other members of the delegation included Mr Bernard Zbinden of World Customs, the Director-General of the GRA, Mr George Blankson, and the Commissioner of Customs, Maj. General Carl Mordey.