The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) is engaging shippers nationwide to educate and sensitise them on the relevance of the paperless system being championed by government to enhance the efficiency of doing business at the ports.
The GSA has since organised fora, seminars and mounted other platforms that brought together key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the paperless system to interact with importers and exporters and address their concerns.
Speaking to BusinessWeek last week Wednesday on the sideline of a forum on seaport clearance processes and single window operations organised for shippers at Abossey Okai, Mrs. Naa Densua Aryeetey, Head of Shipper Services, GSA, said her outfit will continually engage shippers to abreast them of developments in the shipping community and address their complaints timely.
She noted that the paperless system will ensure transparency, save time and reduce the cost of doing business at the port for the benefit of the shipper- a cause her outfit has been relentlessly promoting.
She encouraged spare part importers at Abossey Okai, Accra, and shippers in general to contact the offices and complaints centers of the Authority across the country to report any challenge they encounter while using the paperless system and any other related shipping bottlenecks for redress.
Even though some of the shippers have expressed fears about the successful implementation of the paperless system, Mrs Aryeetey is confident of the readiness of the GSA and its partners in providing shipping solutions to shippers for the running of the new system which began on September 1.
The sensitisation and education engagement will see the GSA interact with trade unions and shippers in Takoradi, Accra, Tema, Kumasi and other parts of the country.
Deputy Commissioner in charge of Policy and Programmes, GRA, Customs Division, Dr. Richard Yawutse, commended the spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai for their enormous contribution to the economy.
He noted that the importation of vehicles and their spare parts into the country constitutes about 10 to 17 per cent of the total revenue generated annually by the GRA.
He also took the hundreds of traders and their leadership at the forum, through some customs procedures and regulations at the nation’s ports and other entry points. He cautioned that companies and individuals found to have consistently tried to defraud the state would be banned from doing business at the port.
Head of Corporate Services and Marketing at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Abena Serwaa Opokua, told the traders that the on-going expansion works at the ports and other GSA provided facilities are geared towards facilitating trade.
She said the new system allows agents and importers to use GCNet and West Blue online platforms to check delivery orders, receive invoices, make electronic payments amongst other transactions when clearing goods at the port.
On the issue of network challenges, she assured importers that standby systems have been put in place to contain the situation.
A clearing agent, Kwaku Dua, advised the traders to be truthful in their transactions with agents by disclosing accurate details of their shipments so as to avoid challenges with Customs and other agencies in the clearance process.
He further advised them to deal with registered clearing agents and also expressed their readiness to work with importers under the paperless regime.