Minister urges closer CEPS-private sector partnership
Mr Kofi Opoku Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, has appealed to the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to develop closer partnership with the private sector to facilitate improved trade, investment and increased revenue to the nation.
He said it was important CEPS and its private sector partners acted together and have better understanding of each other’s role, mission, objectives and concerns in order to ensure security in the international trade supply chain.
Mr Opoku Manu said at the celebration of the International Customs Day in Kumasi on Tuesday.
The Day, celebrated worldwide on January 26 each year, under the auspices of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), had as its theme “Customs and Business: Improving performance through partnership”.
The Minister said as a critical revenue mobilization agency, there was the need for CEPS to dialogue on its initiatives and programmes with the view to developing closer relations with the business world to achieve maximum benefits for all stakeholders.
Mr E.R.K Lanyon, Commissioner of CEPS, said the Service was determined to build close and productive working relationship with businesses and the private sector for the achievement of the common goal of a stable and prosperous Ghana.
“It is important and critical for people in business to become more and more knowledgeable of customs requirements and to ensure compliance and in the same measure, for Customs to understand and appreciate the needs of business”, he said.
Mr Lanyon said CEPS had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with different business partners to improve the effectiveness of customs control on imported counterfeit goods that breach the rights of trademarks and copyright owners.
He said through this, they are working together with the private sector to fight commercial fraud and other infractions that prevent CEPS from achieving revenue targets while at the same time extending to business, immense flexibility in the area of facilitation and clearance.
Mr Samuel A.Yankyera, Assistant Commissioner in-charge Research, said CEPS had now moved from “the culture of telling to the culture of consultation”, adding that, consultative committees had been set up to seek the views of all stakeholders on issues concerning CEPS.
He said there was the need for both traders and CEPS officials to accept to collaborate and cooperate to speed up transactions at the ports and borders.
Mr G.K Ofori, President of Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), called on the government to take a second look at tax laws and review aspects that impeded smooth clearance of goods.
He also complained about duplication and cumbersome procedures that at times lead to bribery and corruption at the ports and suggested the establishment of an efficient one shop transaction desk to speed up business transactions at the ports.