By Cecil MENSAH
The recent introduction of paperless clearance system has removed 13 processes of clearance at the various ports of entry in the country.
Experts close to the process say this has led to importers not interfacing with customs officers at the ports and further eradicated the canker of bribery and corruption in the system.
The system has enhanced the values of the electronic system that was introduced in 2003, removed delays at the ports as well as maximized revenues for the state.
These facts are emerging as Ghana prepares to host the African Alliance for Electronic (ACCE) conference for three days – starting on Tuesday October 3 in Accra.
Speaking on Friday at a workshop for journalists in Accra ahead of the ACCE conference, Mr Mathew Soputamit, Chief Technical Officer at GCNET, said the conference is an African single window conference.
The first edition was held in 2008 with the support of the government of Senegal and the sixth edition will be held in Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and GCNET.
Mr Soputamit said this year’s edition is on the theme “trade facilitation agreement and E-commerce development: the role of single window as a catalyst’’ and it is expected to draw ten thousand visitors including thirty delegates from several countries in Africa and other continents.
According to him, the aim of the conference is to bring together different regions of the world to share, deliberate and discuss contribution of countries on best practices regarding single window project and implementation.
The paperless regime is a sub-set of the single window process of clearing goods from the ports. The single window concept is a platform for sharing trade documents for the facilitation of clearing of goods.
According to the pioneer of single window and electronic solutions for trade facilitation and revenue mobilization in Ghana, Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET) the system is a one-stop platform for clearing goods.
GCNET is a public private partnership company incorporated on November 13, 2000 with Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Ecobank Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank and Societe Generale de surveillance of Switzerland as shareholders.
Head of Communications at GCNET, Mrs. Aba Lokko, told journalists at Friday’s workshop that her organization is happy to partner AACE to organize the sixth edition of the conference as it creates opportunities for Ghanaians to have more information about the concept of single window.
“We took the initiative to organize this workshop to ensure that journalists who will be assigned to cover the main event have a better understanding of the concept ahead of the conference to enable them educate Ghanaians on the concept.”