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The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it has declared over 1,104 entries under the new paperless system at the country’s ports within two weeks of its implementation.

According to Customs, on September 8, the Tema Port recorded 437 customs entries while Takoradi Port had 30, totaling 467.

On the subsequent day, a total of 939 entries were verified at Tema Port with no entry at the Takoradi Port.

A total of 11,280 customs entries were recorded at Tema Port and 12 at the Takoradi Port on September 11.

Acting Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Policy and Programmes, Customs Division, Patrick Richard Yawutse, explained that the process must be streamlined to ensure its success.

He was happy that freight forwarders had reposed confidence in the paperless transaction, thereby causing increase in volume of declarations.

The Deputy Commissioner confirmed the usage of the manual system alongside the paperless one in order to streamline the scheme.

The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said that an initial assessment of the implementation of the paperless system at the country’s ports revealed a revenue collection improvement of 56 percent.

According to him, revenue at the ports increased from GH₵130 million in the first week of September 2016 to GH₵213 million in the same period for 2017.

“On September 1, we launched the paperless system, but of course not without attempts to actually derail the process, because it’s hurting a lot of people who were making free money and people who used to take two weeks to clear a container after one day of delay were protesting. Are you protesting the system or something else?

“The results are amazing. We just looked at data this morning – first week of collections under the paperless system in September this year compared to last year first week of collections in September 2016, and collections have gone up by 56 percent; 56 percent from around GH¢130 million to GH¢213 million in one week,” he said.

Speaking at an orientation ceremony organized by the National Communications Authority (NC) for some 170 National Service Personnel (NSP), who have been posted to the Authority for the 2017/2018 service year, Dr Bawumia said that the recent protests against the system was meant to disrupt it due to revenue leakage that had been blocked.

Government began the implementation of the paperless system on September 1, 2017 to speed up the process of clearing goods from two weeks to four hours and boost revenue.

Initially, some freight forwarders, who complained that they did not fully understand the procedures, protested at the Long Room of the Tema Port.
Source: Daily Guide

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