Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority News
GMA BOSS REFUTES ALLEGATIONS BUT TOUTS THE AUTHORITY’S PRUDENT MANAGEMENT STYLE

 The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu has disclosed that in line with the Authority’s mandate of overseeing the affairs of the waters of the country, it will soon take delivery of 7 patrol search and rescue vessels.
According to him, the vessels which would be acquired through internally generated funds will arrive on 28th November, 2018 to boost the operations of the Ghana Maritime Authority.
“Some vessels are here, and on the 28th of November we would acquire, with internally generated funds, 7 patrol and search and rescue vessels.”
Kwame Owusu who made this known during a press conference to set the records straight following some allegations that were levelled against him, revealed those allegations should be treated with contempt that it deserves.
“I am alleged to have acquired 2 Million of two pieces of land in East Legon, that must be quite a sizeable property,” he exclaimed.
 
He stated that the Vessel Traffic Information Management System, which is a critical equipment that gives access to the Ghana Navy to oversee all waters of Ghana has been serviced to boost their operations.

“When we took over this organisation, we have had what we call our surveillance equipment and for you, media people especially ‘EYE ON PORT’ you know the BTMIS, this in 2014 that it was commissioned, it has never been serviced, we had problems, we couldn’t see things, the Navy was complaining, when I took over, it didn’t take me 3 months,” he stated.
He said the Authority has been removing tree stumps in the Volta Lake to minimise the spate of accidents on the lake as part of its corporate social responsibilities.
“Our first phase alone, is about four million which as part of our social responsibility that we have paid cash down has been removed and we planning different phases,”
Kwame Owusu said the authority was able to generate a total revenue of 100million Ghana cedis in 2017 and made a profit of 43million Ghana cedis same year for the first time.
He revealed that the Authority will for the first time pay 8million cedis dividend to the government.

IMANI FORUM ON BALANCING TRADE FACILITATION AND REVENUE MOBILIZATION IN GHANA

IMANI Ghana, a think-tank organization that applies independent critical analysis to policies and other pertinent issues across various disciplines affecting the Ghanaian economy has held a stakeholders’ forum on finding the balance between trade facilitation and revenue mobilization in the Ghanaian trade and maritime landscape.
The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe said the forum is an honest, open and high-level platform for stakeholders to discuss and suggest practical solutions to emerging factors and challenges affecting port efficiency and revenue mobilization in Ghana.

“I am very positive that this gathering will have very interesting conversations that are solutions driven,” he opined.
 
The forum, which brought together major players and participants in Ghana’s trade and maritime sector, delved into the two critical issues, Paperless Port and Cargo Tracking Notes that are being implemented.
In the first session bordering on CTN, representatives from the major stakeholder institutions levelled up their arguments for or against the implementation of the CTN policy with trade facilitation and revenue mobilization in focus.


The President of GIFF, Kwabena Ofosu-Appiah, opposed the popular notion that freight forwarders are resisting the implementation of the CTN because it would expose their alleged fraudulent business, but instead raised concerns that customs systems do not integrate with others worldwide among others.
“The trade facilitation agreement, Ghana ratified in 2017. It is now an international treaty. It has certain conditions that you must meet as member. These were some of the questions that we brought to the fore. These were some of the answers that we demanded of these interventions. The answers did not come,” he revealed.    
Sampson Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association opined that the CTN is a duplication of the current PAARS under the trade Facilitation Agreement by the Ghana Government.
“The current PAARS has the same tool in place and the current work going on under the trade facilitation agreement of which the parliament of Ghana ratified on the 4th of January 2017,” he said.
CUBAG Secretary, Nicolas Osae, said the CTN policy is an innovative intervention poised to block revenue leakages and create a secure trade chain. He said CUBAG has thought it through and stand by the GRA for its implementation.
“The CTN issue together with the paperless system has come to wipe out waste and plug all loopholes in the clearance system,” he indicated.
A Chief Revenue Officer of the Customs division of GRA, Bismarck Kissi, said CTN has commenced implementation and will undergo much more enhancement per the vision for which it was introduced.
“Once CTN is in, it reemphasizes the TFA and the Custom Valuation Agreement that we have in place,” he said.
However, some stakeholders shared some concerns how the CTN could be improved.  

PAPERLESS
On the paperless port, GC-Net, said it has been able to integrate its systems with all relevant institutions to ensure all processes are seamless.
“We are among the first countries in Africa to start the Single Window Missions. We started in 2000 as part of the Gateway project which brought about Ghana Community Network. And as the name indicated, it was supposed to be a community of all people involved in import, so everybody was to be brought on board,” he disclosed.  
The representatives of freight forwarders assessed the paperless clearance process as an efficient one saying it has helped improved various aspects of the clearance chain.
President of the Association of Customs House Agents of Ghana, Yaw Kyei urged members of the freight forwarding fraternity to work with integrity to instil trust in the system.
“I must use this opportunity to advice the Freight Forwarders to help cooperate with the system to make it better.”
President of GIFF said, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah said there is a need for a revised governance structure to optimize the paperless process.
A Chief Revenue Officer of the Customs division of GRA, Bismarck Kissi revealed that customs are working intensively to ensure that bottlenecks in the examination processes causing delays are solved.
Overall the general consensus shared was that the paperless port clearance process has been a helpful one.
IMANI promised to put together all inputs on CTN and Paperless as discussed comprehensively to target improvement in trade facilitation in the country.
 

ACHAG TRAINS MEMBERS ON TRADE FACILITATION AND REVENUE GENERATION INTERVENTIONS

The Association of Custom House Agents of Ghana (ACHAG) has organized a training seminar for its members to educate them on standard practices in freight forwarding and new policies introduced by government.
ACHAG, with the help of research experts from Customs and West Blue, trained members in new government programs rolled out for trade facilitation and revenue generation interventions such as the CTN, the ECOWAS tariffs, and the use of HS Code.

The President of ACHAG, Yaw Kyei, said some members are not up to speed with technicalities of new conventions, therefore it was important to organize such a seminar so as to aid the performance of their duties.
“So we have seen that most of our members are not very conversant with these things or some of them might even not been aware of the technicalities governing this HS code, so we brought them together and brought some resource persons from Customs and West Blue. We had some discussions on HS codes and it’s been intriguing and a wonderful experience. It will help us in our day-to-day activities as Freight Forwarders,” he said.

A classification researcher, Robert Adomode, said, the training exercise enabled the members acquire the technical know-how on the issue of classification of goods.

“When we talk about trade facilitation, the role that they play is very significant. So when programs like this are organized, it assists them to be able to make an important classification decision,” he mentioned.
Members expressed excitement over the training programme.

GHANA MAKES PROGRESS ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

Ghana has improved in the ranking on the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank Group 2019 Doing Business Report.
The report, titled, ‘Training for Reform’ was released on Wednesday 24th October, 2018.
In the latest report, Ghana has improved its ranking to 114 out of 190 economies up six places from 120 in the 2018 Doing Business Report. Ghana’s ease of doing business score formerly called distance to the frontier has increased by 2.06 to 59.22.
Doing Business 2019 is the 16th in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.
Ghana’s progress reflects reforms in three key areas. First, the Government has made it easier to Trade across Borders, by implementing a paperless customs clearance processing system, Secondly, Government has made it easier to deal with Construction Permits by strengthening construction quality control by imposing stricter qualification requirements for professionals in charge of technical inspections. Thirdly, the Government has made it easier to Pay Taxes, by allowing financial losses to be fully carried forward during any of the following five years of assessment.
Henry Kerali, Country Director, World Bank, Ghana said it is encouraging to see that progress is being made to improve the business environment to promote investments by both domestic and foreign firms, so necessary to spur growth, provide jobs and further reduce poverty.

GPHA ADJUDGED GOVERNMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR AT GHANA BUSINESS AWARDS

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has been adjudged Government Agency of the year at the maiden edition of the Ghana Business Awards.
GPHA was recognised for its immense role in ensuring port efficiency and championing government’s paperless agenda at the Ports of Ghana.
The technical support providers of the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, West Blue Consulting was also adjudged the Consultancy firm of the year at the
The Ghana Shippers Authority received industry leadership award as special recognition and Shipping Company of the year went to McDan Shipping.
The Ghana Business Awards is a prestigious initiative that recognises and rewards excellence across all sectors of industry in Ghana. It also provides the platform to recognize individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the business sector while recognising the need to dialogue on growth and sustainability among stakeholders.
The Minister for Business Development, Mohammed Awal who was the Special Guest of Honour charged businesses to be discipline, utilise resources effectively and pursue excellence in order to beat global competition.
The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje who received the award on behalf of the Authority dedicated the award to the entire management and staff of GPHA.
He said the Port Authority will continue to play its critical role in the Ghanaian economy and offer best of services to its customers.

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