IDF Direct On PAARS Goes Live

By Carroll Nottage

As technology services continue to grow in popularity globally, Ghana has taken the leap step of introducing innovative payment solutions which will bring about reduction in time and cost of doing business in Ghana and cutting all bureaucracies experienced by the stakeholders before now.

True to its unreversed promise of facilitating compliant trade across borders, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, alongside the Ghana National Single Window members have once again taken a step ahead and has had the foresight to implement a technological platform to enable importers, stakeholders and various agencies make use of these innovative payment platforms which will bring about a turn around in doing business in Ghana.

The mobile payment options centres around Card Payment- Visa and Master Card, Mobile Money Payment (Airtel, Tigo and MTN), UBA In Bank Payment which is free to use and In Bank Payments for the following banks, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, First Atlantic Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Energy Bank, Barclays, Capital Bank, UT Bank, Fidelity Bank and Universal Merchant Bank (UCM). A check with the operators are very optimistic that other banks will be joining in soon. The In Bank payments have 2% exclusive charges running up to 10 Pesewa.

Although these innovative services have many advantages: financial inclusion, secure transactions, socio-economic development, additional revenue for the State and job creation, the absence of strict, appropriate regulations poses a serious threat to the economy and the security of the nation. It also comes alongside, its minute charges, which is used in making the experience smooth.

In another, innovative and creative way, the Import Declaration Form (IDF) has been enhanced and it will also be done directly on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System, bringing an end to the excessive delays when working on PAARS, this can be attributed to the large success recorded so far by the Ghana Revenue Authority- Customs Division. At the go-live of PAARS, all stakeholders were skeptical about its change reforms which for the first time, structural reforms were seriously introduced in the country. The IDF Direct on PAARS is a follow up to the various reforms put in place to ensure smooth trading experience and a reliable competitive environment.

The primary innovative company West Blue Consulting which has been responsible for the modernization drive introduced in Ghana has kept to its promise of being reliable and have thus shown that they will continue to introduce innovative solutions that will earn Ghana its respect amongst other developed countries.

A check with how declarants would welcome these solutions came in positive, although they made early reactions as why integrating into an innovative solution should take this long, they thus gave kudos to the Ministry and relevant agencies responsible for bringing on board these simple way of carrying on their business activities. According to a declarant, the integration issues being encountered shows that the other party was not up to the task of introducing these solutions thus exposing how obsolete their system is.

The declarants encouraged the stakeholders to bear with the delays seen now, as He was rest assured that once the teething issues are resolved, they would be glad they accepted the innovative and creative reform.

With all these in place, it is clear that efforts are being made by the Presidency, Ministries and Agencies involved in trade to speed up the import/export process in the country and make it more efficient and user-friendly.

The whole idea of trade facilitation is to make trade faster, better, more streamlined, and more transparent.