GCNet partners GRA-Customs to deploy Transit Data Exchange System

gcnetGhana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet), has facilitated a transit data exchange programme between the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and its Ivorian counterpart to boost the business competitiveness, prevention of fraud, eliminate delays and facilitate the movement of goods and people among others between the two countries.

The transit data exchange programme, which was piloted in May 2017, was fully deployed on July 28, 2017 to expedite cross-border trade among the two countries while deepening regional integration initiatives and protocols to bring the West African community together.

A statement issued by GCNet in Accra yesterday said the historic exchange collaboration was seen as a key move to addressing transit related challenges in cross-border trade and serve as a huge boost to revenue mobilisation while eliminating barriers that militated against easy movement of goods across the borders of the two countries and change the face of transit trade in the sub region’s corridors.

The initiative according to the statement was in fulfillment of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement on exchange of data between Customs administrations of countries to facilitate transit trade and also in fulfillment of the Abidjan – Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (ALTTFP) launched in 2007.

The project was approved by the World Bank in 2010 and was expected to witness a fifty per cent improvement in cross-border trade between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire when operational.

Prior to the launch of the Transit Data Exchange programme, a five-member team from the Ivorian Revenue Authority and their GRA counterparts had been discussing full interconnectivity arrangements between the two Customs authorities.

The discussions focused on areas such as exchange of transit data, enforcing post clearance audit, ensuring an improved warehousing system and post entry after clearance among others.

The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr Isaac Crentsil commended the World Bank and GCNet for their commitment and support to the project which would help address the challenges in transit trade as espoused by the Vice President during the Port Efficiency conference.

He noted that initiative would address a major challenge of transit trade, and serve as a boost to facilitate paperless regime in Ghana. He pledged the commitment of the Customs Division to ensure that project succeeds.

General Manager of GCNet, Mr. Alwin Hoegerle noted that Information Communication Technology including e-solutions have become important enablers of innovations and development the world over. However, in his estimation, Ghana was yet to take advantage of the full benefits of e-solutions, which would revolutionise our economy.

“It is for this reason that GCNet has been at the forefront of playing a pioneering and leadership role in deploying e-solutions in the trade facilitation environment,” Mr. Hoegerle assured.

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