West Blue trains GRA officials

Author: Suleiman Mustapha
Mr. Kofi Danquah (standing), Customs Consultant, West Blue Consulting,  making a point at the programme
Mr. Kofi Danquah (standing), Customs Consultant, West Blue Consulting, making a point at the programme

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has partnered the West Blue Consulting Limited to organise a two–week training programme in Accra for GRA’s examination officers. 

The training was in line with the recommended international best practices on examination technique which borders on Customs Physical Examination Techniques, Examination Support Tools – Pre Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS), a Multi Agency Risk Management Systems (MARMS) and an overview of the ongoing Ghana National Single Widow.

 The training would enable customs officers to apply efficiency and understand how the streamlining of customs processes can help encourage cross-border and international trade which are required with the introduction of the Ghana National Single Window project. The Ghana National Single Window being introduced will allow for an evolution from one-off or ad-hoc time release studies to real-time monitoring of clearance times, providing key players in the trade circle with better tools to establish effective incentives for better performance at all agency levels.

 The training brought over 300 Custom officers drawn from all the collections of the GRA-Customs Division. The officers were trained in batches of three within the duration.

 According to the organisers of the training, the aim was to strengthen capacity building within customs through the sharing of knowledge and international best practices by stimulating new business opportunities which in turn can help enhance economic competitiveness and ensure greater compliance from the stakeholders. 

Furthermore, the officers were further tutored on the effectiveness of trade facilitation which can be achieved through increased automation and adoption of information and communications technology, as well as measures to instill transparency in the process. 

Exchanging ideas

The training stimulated the exchange of ideas and experiences, and enabled the officers to give real-time feedback on the current modernisation drive which involves establishment of an electronic data exchange system, establishment of a single window for pre-clearance which will integrate all the stakeholders involved in the import and export of goods, reduction of the number of documents and streamlining of procedures globally.

 Facilitators for the programme included Mr Kofi Danquah, a consultant with the West Blue Consulting with experience working with the Customs and Border Services, Mr Adedapo Adegoke, a Customs Risk Management Expert and Customs Liaison Manager of West Blue Consulting, Ghana and Mr Emeka Nzeih,Training Manager West Blue Consulting.

They all agreed that for Ghana’s economy to be better, then the need to integrate into the global economy, especially global supply chains will improve border clearance services which are critical in achieving trade facilitation.

Training objectives

The overall objectives of the training were identified as follows, to prepare officers for the proper conduct of examination of all types of goods, to set the minds of officers on what to look for when conducting physical examination, to prepare officers to set a high standard to vividly and factually record the results of examination that would stand the test of time.

It was also to ensure the successful implementation of the PAARS and Single Window concepts by acting as the last line of defence in the clearance and exportation of goods and to prepare the minds of officers to work promptly and harmoniously to facilitate trade without compromising revenue maximisation.

West Blue Consulting is a world class business and IT-consulting and technology firm which transforms the performance of leading organisations in both the private and public sectors.