Government’s directive to port operators to achieve total paperless processing of operational clearance procedures at the ports from September 1 is close to being realized as the main technical partner to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) has declared its readiness to implement the initiative.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia at a recent Ports Efficiency Conference held in May this year directed that all trade transactions be fully paperless, as well as joint inspection by all regulatory and examination bodies mandated to do and removal of barriers along the trade corridors of the country.
According to the Executive Chairman of GCNet, Dr. Nortey Omaboe, the company had already deployed the infrastructure to give full effect to the pursuit of the paperless transactions regime, noting that “it is on record that GCNet provided a paperless clearance system several years earlier, and won a World Customs Organization Award as far back as January 2014.”
Speaking at the second edition of the National Trade Facilitation Awards in Accra, Dr. Omaboe observed that “we at GCNet are mindful of the fact that an effective and efficient trade development and facilitation is dependent on a number of players and systems in the value chain, including exporters, cargo tracking, warehousing, freight forwarders, payment systems- e-payments, free zones, regulatory bodies, shippers among others. All these activities in the trade facilitation chain at the various ports are enabled by an electronic system powered by GCNet.”
He assured that GCNet was therefore collaborating with its diverse stakeholders including the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Airport Company, the terminal operators, the courier providers, and scan operators in the value chain to ensure that this objective was fully realized within the timeframe stipulated.
Dr. Omaboe explained that GCNet recently deployed the e-CITES for the Wildlife Division, which would ensure that e-certificates were issued paperless and expressed excitement it was very much in line with the September 1 deadline alongside the e-manifest and e- warehousing modules already in operation .
He said among the other e-solutions deployed is the introduction of GCNet’s Letter of Commitment (LOC) for the Bank of Ghana which has aided in the elimination of human elements and interference in export monitoring as well as ensuring in the tracking of exports proceeds into the country and also boosting the availability of forex in the economy.
He announced that there has been service upgrades on GCNet applications for regulatory agencies and other players in the trade facilitation space, all in a bid to ensure that the vision to go paperless which GCNet spearheaded in 2011 is fully realized and the benefits accrued to the citizenry.