Trade Facilitation To Be The Ultimate—Ghana’s Minister Of Finance, Seth Terkper
As the clock is ticking for Ghana Customs to take over the Classification, Valuation and Risk Management functions from the Destination Inspection Companies (DICs) at the ports on September 1, 2015, a team comprising the National Security, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Shippers Authority and other stakeholders visited the Customs Technical Bureau to ascertain the readiness of the officers for the take-over.
Arriving the the centre unannounced, the Minister of Finance; Mr Seth Terkper with other delegates were impressed with the readiness and consciousness of the officers at the centre, during the tour, the Deputy Commissioner in charge enlightened the delegation on the Pre- Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS) operations of Customs and how effective the system operates.
The delegates were made to know that the various departments were at hand, working round the clock to ensure that importation/exportation in Ghana is now very easy, as against previous times where the declarants have to run helter skelter to get their necessary documentation from one point to the other, which he revealed was time consuming and promoted corruption as checks to ensure that goods coming into the country before the arrival of PAARS has always been a concern of Customs.
Accordingly, the Customs Technical Service Bureau comprises of various department ranging from the Valuation Desk to the help desk who are at hand to ensure smooth delivery of their mandate.
The Minister of Finance charged the staff and management of GRA-Customs Division to remain alert and also hinted that it was vital He came to see the centre first-hand so as to boost their energies and dedication so far. He was please so far with the readiness of the Customs Officers and assured them that He will share the vision to the people of Ghana.
He said that the government is ready to invest in trade automation as this calls for the development of key sectors in the country; He also made mention that the demonstration of government’s commitment and full support towards the launch of the single window concept motivational tools have been put in place to boost the morale and performance of the officers.
He addressed the officers and told them that even though the general public was sceptical about their readiness come 1st September, 2015 the government will ensure that Ghana Revenue Authority achieves it modernization plans for the greater good of Ghana. He hinted that the government is solidly behind them as they take over their main function.
He commended the readiness of the Officers and congratulated them for being part of the great history making come September 1, 2015.
Mr Seth, also encouraged the officers to keep up the good job and promote the establishment of a very professional GRA and a professional tax collecting revenue agency on the continent of Africa.
The team hinted that www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh can be accessed from any where in the world and the help desk number to call are: 0800266266 and 0800111222. They were also hinted that the social media department has since started its own functions in ensuring that all the platforms were created to ensure they could be contacted on any of the mediums: www.ghanastradinghub.gov.g h www.facebook.com/Ghanatradehub www.twitter.com/Ghanatradehub
The single window concept provides an opportunity for traders to lodge their documents, including certificates of origin, invoices, customs declarations and import/export permits at a single location (electronically) to be accessed by all regulatory and trade agencies instead of traders sending copies of the same documents to different agencies.
The facility reduces the cost and time of doing business as well as serve as a one-stop shop to ensure minimal bureaucracy.