Clearing Agents Stage Demo Over Poor Sensitization

The pilot phase of the Ghana Ports Paperless policy was kick-started at the Takoradi and Tema ports on Tuesday, 1st August, and Monday, 7th August respectively.

Ports Clearing agents comprising the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), the Chamber of Freight and Trade and Concerned Freight Forwarders Association are protesting against the newly introduced single interface electronic transactions, commonly called the “paperless policy”.

The group who staged a protest at the Tema Port this morning [Friday, August 18], said they were not given adequate education on how to carry out the policy before its implementation began.

The group who complained they are not yet well acquainted with how the paperless transaction works, indicated that implementation of the policy is not well organised as agencies are piloting the project individually, instead of on a single interface as originally planned.

Speaking to the media, Chairman for Concerned Freight Forwarders, Mr Oheneba Kwasi Afawuah, called on the government to withdraw the policy for the meantime, to allow time for the concerned agents to be well educated on how the processes work.

The Paperless Policy which is powered by the Ghana community Network Service Limited (GCNET), is a single-window platform designed for processing trade transactions and customs clearances.

The policy which is officially known as the National Paperless Port Operations was introduced by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to facilitate the clearing of goods at Ghana ports through the use of automation systems.

The new system is meant to replace the old and more rigorous method of paper transactions where traders have to meet with various clearing agents at every stage of the trade chain before having their goods cleared and released.

The paperless policy is expected to kick-start in full on Friday, the 1st of September, 2017, according to government’s directive. The pilot phase was however, kick-started at the Takoradi and Tema ports on Tuesday, 1st August, and Monday, 7th August respectively.

Among the very many expected benefits of the Ghana Ports Paperless Policy, are easier and faster clearing of goods, as well as the reduction in corrupt practices brought about by undue human interaction.

The above benefits however depend largely on the policy being implemented efficiently. The government is therefore being called upon to ensure that all those involved in putting the policy into practice receive adequate sensitization to enable the country reap all the associated benefits.

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