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Ghana: Govt commits to ensuring speedy clearance of goods from portsTuesday, August 02, 2016 > 14:19:28
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with the Ghana Community Network Services Ltd (GCNet) and other partners, has organised the maiden National Trade Facilitation Awards on the theme: “Enhancing efficient and effective Trade Practices to promote growth.”
The awards, to be held every year, are aimed primarily at promoting an enhanced trade facilitation regime in Ghana while encouraging actors in the sector to render first-class efficient and transparent services.
The maiden edition of the National Trade Facilitation Awards 2016 rewarded deserving freight forwarding agencies and ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) which had rendered first-class services during the review period. It targeted 36 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) which issue permits, licences and exemptions through the e-MDA portal and freight forwarding agencies in Ghana.
At the awards ceremony, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said one of the core policies of the government was to ensure speedy and efficient clearance of goods at the ports and borders.
He said the ability of firms to deliver goods and services on time and at the lowest possible cost was a key determinant of their successful integration into the world economy through the supply chain and lifting of the poor out of poverty.
Mr Spio-Garbrah said to demonstrate the importance of trade facilitation, the ministry had set in motion the necessary steps for parliamentary ratification of the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement, which was concluded in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013.
Subsequently, he said, the government had signed an agreement with GCNet to help fully automate the Customs Clearance System and to network with other stakeholders involved in the import and export trade to enhance the Ghana Customs Management System.
To that end, the government has connected the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), border points, freight forwarders, among other bodies, to GCNet’s simplified customs clearance procedures as well as deployed non-intrusive scanners as part of efforts to enhance port management in furtherance reducing congestion at the ports.
The Deputy General Manager, GCNet, Mr Emmanuel Darko, said through automation of the process of transmitting various documents, including carrier manifests, permits, exemptions, certificates, among others, a total of 331,223 e-permits were issued in 2015, while a total of 187,143 e-permits were issued electronically in the first half of 2016.
Similarly, he said instead of the human escorts accompanying transit cargoes, that was now being done through an electronic tracking system for transit goods, making Ghana the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to deploy an electronic tracking system for transit goods.