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Shift paperless port target from money making to trade facilitation, CILT tells Ghana

Following the observation of the fact that six months into the regime of paperless port system in Ghana, emphasis has erroneously gone to revenue generation than trade facilitation which formed the key reason for the idea, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has urged government to return to the original plan of the policy.

Business Hilights recalls that the paperless port clearing system was introduced in September 1, 2017 as part of three directives from government aimed at ensuring port operation efficiency.

According to Mr. Ebo Hammond, President of CILT, who made the call said “despite the stated objective of focusing on trade facilitation and enhancing the user experience throughout the clearance procedure,  there is still too much focus on revenue mobilization, as government  policy continues to set highly ambitious  collection  targets for its officials.”

Explaining more at its Continuous Professional Development Programme on the theme “improvements in the cargo clearance processes at the ports of Ghana, the role of the paperless system,” he said that such ambitious targets created pressure on officials to scrutinize consignments in more details, which “ends up in upward valuation of goods against stated amounts on the commercial invoices despite objections by shippers and other agents leading to higher costs, longer and unnecessary delays”.

Other consequence of revenue mobilization focus, he stated, was the potential to create unnecessary avenues for illicit fees and charges.

Hammond therefore recommended the use of the paperless database to set realistic targets, both for total clearing time and revenue collection to help balance the need for revenue generation and trade facilitation.