The government’s decision to roll out the phase two of the Paperless Port Programme has begun to yield results and made operations at the ports more conducive for importers.
The policy which is aimed at transforming Ghana’s Ports to ‘Smart Ports’ has resulted in major improvements in trade transactions at the country’s ports.
The Paperless Ports Programme also aims to to ensure that human error or contact is removed from all trade transactions at the ports while strengthening Ghana’s economic competitiveness.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic has revealed that the implementation of the Paperless Port policy phase two, among other things, has reduced the cost of doing business by 75 per cent.
For instance, the cost of doing business which used to cost importers GH¢1,280 has now be reduced to GH¢320.
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A new addition introduced by the policy is the Joint Examination which is designed to eradicate multiple examinations of containers and payment, while the Certificate of Origin for Exports has been automated.
The initiative has also seen the cancellation of the importer registration process and importer registration fees.
There is also the introduction of the regulatory agencies for physical examination system.
This initiative has led to the reduction of the number of regulatory agencies for physical examination at the ports from 16 to 3. There is now 50 per cent discount on duty payment for importers.
The integrated risk management system has reduced physical inspections of goods at the ports by 50 per cent, with an end target of 10 per cent.
Addressing the recent Town Hall Meeting in Accra, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, explained that the paperless port reforms would reduce the time and cost of doing business at the port.
He said the introduction of the new system would increase government’s revenue as container volumes through the ports increase.
Dr Bawumia added that the pace of digitisation that was currently underway at the country’s port would make Ghana one of the most digitised economies in Africa in the next few years.
The paperless system was introduced by the government to address the difficulties at the country’s port.
The system, being implemented by West Blue Consulting, in partnership with other companies, has sealed revenue leakages at the port.