Effective September 1, 2017, all Customs road barriers in Ghana are to be removed and the personnel deployed elsewhere, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
This is part of three major policy initiatives which the Vice President announced at the Port Efficiency Conference in Accra on Wednesday.
The others are mandatory joint inspection of goods at the Ports by GCNET and West Blue and the Ports going paperless.
The new directives forms part of efforts to make Ghana’s ports very competitive in the sub region.
Dr Bawumia said the Takoradi and Tema ports would become the preferred destination if the measures were implemented.
The Vice President said the whole framework of policies in the sector was yet to come.
“This single window, double window matter, we have to deal with it. The whole issue that has to do with the presence of multiple agencies at the ports, we are going to deal with it, we are not going to wait for months to come but in four weeks time… we have these three policy items that we are announcing today but in another four weeks when we resolve recommendations of this conference we will be announcing those decisions at that point in time.
Explaining the rationale for the three new policy initiatives, Dr Bawumia said “we’ve been looking at these issues for a while and there is no need to really delay on certain things.”
“From September 1, we want to see mandatory joint inspections and examinations of containers at the ports.”
“Secondly, from September 1, however we do it, because the technology is available, Ghana is going 100 per cent paperless at the ports to bring about efficiency, Customs, GRA, GPHA take notice.”
“The third policy reform that we are implementing is to do with the transit corridors and the barriers that are there that inhibits as far as transit trade is concerned.
“We want to from September 1, and Customs you have time to do this, all internal Customs barriers are eliminated from September 1 in Ghana, all of them. We are eliminating them and we’ve done discussions with the Minister of National Security on this.”
“It will really change Ghana’s competitiveness in the sub region, we’ve looked at the revenues that are being generated from these barriers and they are really nothing to write home about, but the cost to the consumers and trackers and so on.
“So we will want to give Customs the opportunity to re-deploy these staff from the various areas. We want to strengthen tracking and checking at the ports, that is the first order of business,” the Vice President said.