An international trade and customs expert, Dietmar Jost, has urged government to expedite the release of goods through the pre-arrival processing in compliance with global best practices.
This is in spite of Ghana making progress in introducing the pre-arrival system in the clearance of goods at the ports and borders.
But according to Jost, who doubles as a consultant to German International Cooperation (GIZ), the current release time is not at the level of global best practices, hence, the need for government to make further improvement by reducing the overall amount of formalities and documentations required in the clearance process.
The occasion was an implementation planning workshop organized jointly by the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, the International Chamber of Commerce Ghana, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) which was aimed at updating stakeholders with the many developments happening in the border clearance procedures in Ghana.
Jost also urged border agencies to introduce trainings and procedures that allow the submission and completion formalities prior to the arrival of goods “so as to reduce the delays of getting goods into the country.”
He said: “In international supply trade facilitation chain, time is of essence. Time means cost so if you reduce the time it takes to import goods into Ghana, you reduce the cost for the importers and exporters. It will ensure and increase the competitiveness of Ghana.”
Nyame Baafi, Director Multilateral and Regional Trade, who doubles as Chairman of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, said implementing trade facilitation measures in the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement will go a long way to reduce cost in the clearance of goods from the ports as well as attract foreign direct investment into the country.
“We are working to ensure that 75 percent of goods do not go through inspection and that only 10 percent would be inspected at random,” he said.