One year after the implementation of the paperless port system, stakeholders in ports and harbours value chain say it has indeed improved efficiency and raked in more revenue at the ports.
Speaking at a forum on the paperless port project, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismarck, called on stakeholders to contribute suggestions on how best the system can be made more efficient.
“In view of the multiple stakeholders connected to it and the intensity of the nationwide shipper sensitization required, the Shippers Authority in consultation with key industry stakeholders preferred a comprehensive review of the system after its first year of implementation. More collaboration among industry player is required to ensure that the system is fully oiled to deliver the goals government envisioned,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority is confident of the complete roll out of the paperless port system by the second quarter of 2019.
“We are going heavy on automation. We are looking at a paperless system fully rolled out by the second quarter of 2018,” he said.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had earlier emphasized on the removal of customs barriers in the country and ensure mandatory joint inspections and a paperless port system by 1st September 2017.
The Vice-President was providing an update on the efforts being made by the government to ensure and enhance greater transparency at the country’s ports of entry.
He said the government would begin the implementation of a risk clearance system at the pre-arrival stage. This will make it possible for compliant importers to sit in the comfort of their offices and get customs clearance. Every activity will be fed into the risk engine to enable the system to keep records of importers.
Dr Bawumia also mentioned the government’s plan was to introduce the First Port Rule in Ghana, which would provide the avenue for the duty on goods destined for countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to be paid here in Ghana. This he said should provide a check on the dumping of goods destined for our neighbouring countries here in Ghana.
He, therefore, called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure port efficiency, saying they must all aim to do their part to make our ports paperless and that no excuses would be tolerated.