Adnan Adams Mohammed
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, has told parliament that, the total cost of doing business at the ports has reduced by 75 percent after the introduction of the Paperless Clearing System at the various sea ports in the country.
According to him, his outfit, in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Freight Forwarders Association, conducted comparative analysis on the cost of doing business in a pre and post paperless regime at the ports and it was established empirically that the cost of doing business has reduced by 75 percent, Thus, pegging the cost now at GH¢320 from GH¢1,280 before the implementation of the system.
The Paperless System, which was introduced on September 1, 2017, was to help speed up the process of clearing goods at the ports from two weeks to four hours and also ensure order at the ports to block loopholes in revenue mobilization. It is also to ensure that Ghana’s ports compete favourably with other ports in the sub-region and help reduce cost of doing business in the private sector to generate adequate revenue to support the developmental agenda of the government.
“The new system had improved clearance process since importers and agents are able to receive Customs Classification Valuation Reports (CCVR) within 24 hours compared to the previous time frame of three days”, leadership of Clearing Agents Association have said, showing satisfaction of the new system.
Answering a question as to whether the introduction of the paperless port has increased the cost of doing business at the ports in parliament last week, the Minister of Finance said the system has rather reduced cost of doing business at the ports drastically.
He said the findings of the research also showed that cost components of doing business at the ports had also reduced from seven to three.
“Before the paperless regime doing business at the ports included cost of obtaining CCVR, compliance, regulatory agencies, shipping line demurrage, GHPA Rent or overstayed, printing of declarations and miscellaneous but after the implementation one needed to deal with the cost of obtaining CCVR, regulatory agencies and miscellaneous,” he said.
He, however, said that there have been reports of some difficulties and the ministry was going round all the regions to solicit views to how to resolve the concerns raised by members of the public.