Paperless port initiative has achieved 85 percent success rate-Customs Commissioner

The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Isaac Crentsil has observed that the Paperless Port system currently being operated in the country’s ports has achieved a remarkable 85 percent success rate.

According to him, the system has improved business transactions at the ports in terms of reduction in cost and time of doing business.

He said compliance levels have also gone up and has injected a high level of sanity in the clearance process at the ports.

Speaking on Accra based Asempa Fm’s Eko Sii Sen talkshow programme on Tuesday, March 19 2019, Mr. Crentsil opined that the initiative has led to a reduction in the number of state agencies who conduct inspections at the ports from 17 to 3.

‘’ The paperless system has injected a lot efficiency into the system and has enabled us to reduce the number of mandatory state agencies that had inspection rights at the ports from 17 to 3. So currently we have Customs, the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority involved the inspection of goods at the ports. And so it allows for importers to have their good speedily cleared within a short period’’ he said.

Mr. Crentsil noted that one of the key objectives of the Paperless port which will be two years in September was to remove the human interface from the clearance chain and curb bribery and corruption.

He said the automation has bridged the human interface and affords importers and Freight Forwarders the opportunity to initiate clearance processes online without necessarily having to move physically to the port to conduct business.

The Customs Commissioner cautioned the importing public to always employ the services of qualified and genuine Freight Forwarders in order to avoid falling prey to unscrupulous criminals who end up duping them and running away.

He also impressed on the Freight Forwarders to be candid and truthful in all their dealings with their clients and stop the habit of extorting monies from them in the name of ‘sorting’ out Customs officers to facilitate the speedy clearance of their goods saying ‘’this particular paperless initiative has removed the human interface and so you will not find the compliance officers in the field, they have all been moved to the head office. And so you don’t find them to interact with them. If you see a customs officer, then it means he or she is coming to examine your goods and that is it. So where are you going to find the customs officer and give him or her the money? You won’t find them’’.

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