Ghanaian officials begin training on WTO agreement

VesselThe Inspection and Control Services Limited (ICS) on Monday started a four-week training course on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Customs Valuation, Expanding the Knowledge Base.

The workshop, which is the first of two training sessions to be organised this year on valuation has attracted 30 participants from the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Economics and Organised Crime Office and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The first batch will be trained for two weeks in Accra followed by another batch of 30 for another two weeks.

The workshop is a continuous improving regiment of ICS as part of a contractual obligation to train stakeholders to make the right judgement for importers and government in terms of the revenue that would accrue to the State.

Valuation is the core function of customs, which is an interactive convention ratified by Ghana.

Mr Shaju Jose Vallapy of the ICS Inspection Control Services Limited in Kuwait is the main facilitator of the course.

Mr Walter A. Onyango, Deputy ICS General Manager, in charge of Management Information Systems, said the workshop is aimed at equipping the officers to be abreast of the best practices in the valuation process.

“Indeed it is imperative for us to have regular refresher courses from time to time to improve upon our performance and to update our knowledge base with current trends,” he said.

Mr Onyango said valuation is important for the assessment of customs duties for the purposes of generating revenue or as a means of encouraging and protecting domestic industry.

“It is also a significant element in a variety of other aspects of international trade such as trade facilitation, statistics and other charges levied on importation as well as in the application of Computerised Risk Management Systems.”

ICS, Ghana started operations in January 2003 and is part of the ICS Group, which comprises various firms with extensive e-government experience and international infrastructure.

The group assists governments in enhancing trade revenues while maintaining controls and facilitating trade.

The group provides tailor made solutions through the deployment of its flagship product, MicroClear, which is a proprietary and internally developed and enhanced world-class supply chain, customs, and e-commerce and decision support solution.

ICS was established in 1996 to provide governments with effective services designed to enhance customs and tax revenues.

The company has over the years developed into a world-wide organisation with expertise in specialised technology and a creative and practical system for providing valuation assistance to customs organisations in accordance with WTO and World Customs Organisation guidelines.

The ICS Group currently relies on the expertise and support of 550 offices located in more than 100 countries.

Source: GNA

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