GCNET paperless transactions is a single-window platform designed for processing trade transactions and customs clearances.
In order to facilitate international trade, the Akufo-Addo government has given out various new directives to the various agencies, ministries and stakeholders in the trade facilitation space. Among these directives is the instruction to make all transactions in the trade facilitation chain completely paperless.
It is in obedience to these, that the Ghana Community Network Service Limited (GCNET) decided to set the pace in the aspect of electronic transactions.
GCNET Paperless Transactions – 5 Facts To Note
1. What’s GCNET Paperless Transactions?
The GCNET paperless transactions is a single-window platform designed for processing trade transactions and customs clearances. It is an innovative mode of transaction created by the Ghana community Network Service Limited (GCNET) to spearhead the National Paperless Port Operations introduced by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia 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.
2. Affected Agencies
The stakeholders covered in the paperless move include Customs officials, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Agents, Shipping Lines, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Meridian Ports Services (MPS), Tema Container Terminal (TCT), other terminal operators, courier providers, and scan operators in the value chain.
GCNET will have their systems integrated with the above agencies and all other necessary bodies, in order to be able to exchange data.
3. How It Will Work
The GCNET single-window platform is made up of a front-end Electronic Messaging Platform (the TradeNet) and a back-end System (the Ghana Customs Management System) which allows for a 24/7 processing of declarations.
The e-clearance process flow would also include the attachment of documents in the GCNet system for onward transmission to Customs for further action to be taken on those documents submitted. This would be complimented by a schedule process flow to be used by Customs officers to notify relevant government inspection agencies to make themselves available for the joint inspection procedures at the ports. These steps, which are to be automated will be supported by instant alert system via sms and emails to all agencies.
The system which is currently deployed at Customs Headquarters and all key stations, is expected to be used in the collection of 98% of Customs revenue.
4. Commencement Date
The GCNET Paperless Transactions is expected to kick-start on Friday, the 1st of September, 2017, according to government’s directive.
The pilot phase of the electronic transactions has however, been in operation at the Takoradi and Tema ports since Tuesday, 1st August, and Monday, 7th August respectively.
After the pilot which is serving as the experimental stage, the e-transact will be extended to all other ports in Ghana.
5. Benefits of Paperless Transactions at Ghana Ports
The GCNEt paperless transactions if carried out efficiently, will mean that clearing of goods at Ghana’s ports would be completed within four hours. This will be made possible as procedures that cause unnecessary delays such as double inspections, paper processing, etc., will be phased out.
The e-clearing move is also expected to reduce corruption which is caused by undue instances of human interactions. In addition, businesses would be able to save time and money as their turnaround time at the ports will be substantially reduced.
According to Deputy Trade Minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsay,the benefits of engaging in paperless clearing “include reduced cost of shipping goods across borders, enhanced collection of fees, duties and penalties, reduction in corruption and illegal trade activities as well as enhanced transparency and accountability.”
GCNet is an Information and Communication Technology Public-Private Partnership that provides leading and innovative e-Solutions to Governments.
GCNET whose CEO is Dr. Nortey Omaboe, has been in the business of creating a seamless electronic system using cutting edge technology that links all trade operators, revenue agencies, and regulatory bodies through a “Single Window” system.
The company which was incorporated on November 13, 2000, has made several accomplishments in trade facilitation, improved revenue collection and business competitiveness. They include:
- A Single Window Platform for Multiple Access and Processing of all Stakeholders through the Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System (GICCS)
- The Ghana TradeNet (an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) System;
- The Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS);
- The i-Transit System for the Processing of Goods in Transit to Landlocked Neighboring Countries;
- The Electronic Registration of Business System;
- The Electronic Tax Administration System.