Goods at Ghana Ports: Why Custom Officers Will Spend Only 4 Hours In Clearing

Clearing Goods at Ghana Ports -If smuggling contraband goods into the country have been your thing then you need to have a rethink. Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has declared that Importers will from September 1, 2017, spend at most four hours to clear their goods from the various ports in the country.

This new rule is as a result of a complete automation of the systems at the country’s ports. Dr. Bawumia was addressing importers, customs officers and other stakeholders at the Flagstaff House, Wednesday, August 02, when he made the announcement. The Vice President said the move by the government is to ensure efficiency and accountability at the ports.

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Dr. Bawumia assured that all the bureaucratic processes at the ports which generate corrupt activities will end with the introduction of the automation processes at the ports.

Corruption at the Ports

Over the years, the Ghana’s Customs Service has reportedly been a hub for several corrupt practices. Times without number have investigations indicated how some Customs officers circumvent processes to make money out of clearing goods at Ghana ports.

According to investigations, goods imported into the country, spend several days, weeks sometimes months at the Ports with importers maneuvering their products into the system

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The corrupt officials at the ports often see this as an opportunity to waive the necessary clearing processes as a result of bribes received from importers. These importers pay huge monies to officers in order to have their goods cleared as quickly as possible. This has gradually become the order of the day at the Ports, leading to a rise in the rate of contraband goods in the country.

But the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had other plans for these law breakers prior to its election victory in 2016. The government which hoped to revamp the country’s economy by creating more avenues for revenues has decided to pluck all the loop holes in the country’s revenue generating areas. These revenues are also needed by the government to fund some of its ambitious policies, including one village one dam, one district one factory and lots more.

Clearing Goods at Ghana Ports From Now on

Vice President Dr. Bawumia has said that the Ports terminal operating systems will have officials of the Ghana standards responsible for testing all activities at the ports, except for products to be inspected by the FDA. This is to help reduce time and cost of clearance at the ports, as well as stress for customs officers.