Eight More Scanners To Be Installed At Ports

Haruna Iddrisu,Minister of Employment and Labour Relations (7)The Ministry of Trade and Industry will soon install eight more scanners to help speed up the clearing of goods and reduce congestion at the country’s ports.

The Acting Director for Trade and Facilitation at the Ministry, Mr. Patrick A. Poku, who disclosed this here on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting, explained that the procurement processes for the scanners had been completed and some of the scanners had arrived in the country.

He said one of them would be installed at the Kotoka International Airport and the rest stationed at Tema and Takoradi ports.

The meeting was organised by the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) for shippers and the various government agencies that provide services in the clearance of goods to discuss issues on permits for importation and clearance of reefer products, chemicals, plants and animals and overstayed reefer containers at the ports.

Mr. Poku announced that as part of new measures to speed up clearing of goods from October 1, application and approval of exemptions would go online via the GCNet system.

He said however, that, the submission of necessary supporting documents like the import declaration form would be done physically to the ministry but with time all that would be done online.

Mr. Poku who is also the chairman of the committee, formed to resolve the problem of the payment of electricity bills incurred by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) on plugged-in reefer containers, said though it was generally agreed that the consignee should pay for the electricity cost, the committee could not come out with a clear cut solution.

He said the committee had recommended that the validity period for permits to import goods should be extended from the current three months to six months to cater for delays in sourcing, processing and transportation of the goods.

Mr. Poku said the committee also recommended that the auctioning procedure for unclaired reefer containers be reviewed alongside the governing rules to make it more rapid and efficient.

The Deputy Chief Executive of GSA, Mr. Emmanuel Martey, said the issue of unclaimed and uncleared cargoes was of much concern as they occupy space, consume electricity and generally add to congestion inside the port.

He called on the Ministries, Agencies and shipping lines as well as agents to collaborate to ensure the quick clearance of goods and to facilitate trade.

Mr. Martey said it was their expectation that the industry would improve to the point where people would sit in the comfort of their offices, conduct all import transactions and wait for cargo to be delivered to them without the need for their physical presence at the port.

There were presentations from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Veterinary Services Department, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

From Godfred Blay Gibbah, Tema




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