Ghana Revenue Authority blames cargo clearance delays on erroneous documentation

GRAMore than 60 percent of documents submitted by importers and exporters to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for processing did not meet the laid down requirement and were riddled with errors and dubious contents.

Mr. Kofi Mbiah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) who made the disclosure, noted that this had contributed significantly to the delay in cargo clearance and high cost of doing business at the country’s ports and borders.

According to him, this situation was often blamed at the door steps of statutory agencies.

Mr. Mbiah was addressing importers, exporters and other stakeholders in the shipping and clearing Industry at a day’s seminar organized by GSA with the aim to reduce the cost of doing business at Ghana’s ports and borders

It was on the theme; “Reducing the cost of doing business at Ghana’s ports and borders, the role of Importers and Exporters”

Mr Mbiah therefore urged shippers to employ the services of professional and credible freight forwarders and clearing agents to help them make adequate clearance preparations to facilitate the speedy clearance of their goods to avoid unnecessary charges due to delays.

He observed that the high cost of doing business remained one of the biggest disincentives militating against the attainment of business efficiency and high output for a sustainable economic growth in the country.

He indicated that the cost of doing business at the country’s ports and borders have been a subject of discussion among many industry players involved in the country’s international trade and adding that there was the need to define approaches that would reduce inbound and outbound transport cost.

To him, to attain a liberalized and a technology driven economy, businesses must be run on competitiveness, supported by strategies for effective cost reduction as well as efficiency in production and delivery of goods and services.

GSA through its continuous engagement with stakeholders has provided essential elements in facilitating trade, reducing the cost of doing business and ensuring competitiveness for Ghanaian shippers, he said.

He said the passage of the Ghana Shippers Authority Regulations, 2012 (LI.2190) in its implementation would empower the Authority to negotiate with shipping service providers on charges in relation to shipment and clearance of cargo on behalf of importers and exporters of Ghana.

Mr. Mbiah mentioned that plans were far advanced to implement the negotiation of minimum standards and quality of shipping service with service providers to serve as a benchmark of quality in the industry.

He said importers and exporters were the heartbeat of the economy and stressed that “without an efficient and cost effective import and export regime and an associated well-oiled logistics, reducing inflation and increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accelerating growth would be meaningless”.

Mrs. Monica Josiah, Western and Central Regional Branch Manager of GSA explained that the seminar was to educate and equip importers and exporters with the knowledge to enhance their competitiveness because the cause of high shipment cost was sometimes self-inflicted.

Participants were enlightened on the custom regimes, import and export procedures, custom laws as well as import duty taxes.

Source: GNA

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