FIRST JOINT CUSTOMS CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE FORUM HELD

The Joint Customs Consultative Committee has held its first forum ever since its inauguration in June 2018 where stakeholders were assembled to discuss issues affecting the trade and maritime industry.
The Committee constitutes stakeholders from the maritime industry, including Customs, GPHA, IT service providers, FDA & GSA and freight forwarders.
The Tema Sector Commander, Dr. Godfred Okoh-Appiah, said the committee’s engagements will go a long way to foster harmony, while educating members on the common objective of trade facilitation and revenue mobilization.



“It is good that us stakeholders of this industry have such a forum or such a consultative committee to help address issues concerning the industry. I keep saying we have a common collective objective which is the overarching aim of trying to make the port a place of doing business, in order to see to facilitation of trade through simplification of procedures and also harmonization of laws and regulations.”
The forum was also used to discuss the paperless port system in order to address some emerged challenges.
Representations of the stakeholder organizations assessed the paperless system and described it as a fruitful one.
The Food and Drugs Authority disclosed that, communication between customs and the FDA for Joint Inspection examinations are ineffectively flawed and needed immediate improvement.
“We have had cause to complain that these consignments are under detention and should not be released but before you realize, it has been released by the other agencies, which does not help the FDA, because the product is not certified to be on the market and the importers will always want to avoid the FDA,” Jake Nana Akoto of the FDA said. 
Ghana Standards Authority charged the IT service providers to update their systems to correct the roles of GSA, instead of the current situation where GSA are being called upon to certify frozen foods which is not part of their mandate.
“GSA is no more working on frozen and meat product at Reefer Yard but the system continues referring these items to GSA, which become outstanding indication that GSA has not worked on these particular items which is frozen meat and its standing in the name of GSA which is a big challenge,” Frank Mudey, GSA said. 
A Customs Officer advised that communication be prioritized by stakeholders to increase trade facilitation.
“Because of this issue about mismatching of numbers of the other agencies we have seen that there have been a lot of delay activities on the part of other inspection agencies,” Simon Kumah, a Customs official said.
West Blue Consulting, called for clearing agents to respond to text messages for inspection on time and charged the FDA and GSA to increase the number of inspection officers to speed up process.
“If I send a text message or the system sends a message to the various players in the field and they don’t turn up what happens then?”
Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders emphasized the need for a more organized governing body that would regulate the Paperless system for overall success.
“If we do not get all these MDAs on the same table under one… In fact, if you look at WTO governance structure it should be headed necessarily by the President,” Eddy Akrong, Executive Secretary of GIFF lamented.

“It is good that us stakeholders of this industry have such a forum or such a consultative committee to help address issues concerning the industry. I keep saying we have a common collective objective which is the overarching aim of trying to make the port a place of doing business, in order to see to facilitation of trade through simplification of procedures and also harmonization of laws and regulations.”


The forum was also used to discuss the paperless port system in order to address some emerged challenges.
Representations of the stakeholder organizations assessed the paperless system and described it as a fruitful one.
The Food and Drugs Authority disclosed that, communication between customs and the FDA for Joint Inspection examinations are ineffectively flawed and needed immediate improvement.


“We have had cause to complain that these consignments are under detention and should not be released but before you realize, it has been released by the other agencies, which does not help the FDA, because the product is not certified to be on the market and the importers will always want to avoid the FDA,” Jake Nana Akoto of the FDA said. 
Ghana Standards Authority charged the IT service providers to update their systems to correct the roles of GSA, instead of the current situation where GSA are being called upon to certify frozen foods which is not part of their mandate.
“GSA is no more working on frozen and meat product at Reefer Yard but the system continues referring these items to GSA, which become outstanding indication that GSA has not worked on these particular items which is frozen meat and its standing in the name of GSA which is a big challenge,” Frank Mudey, GSA said. 
A Customs Officer advised that communication be prioritized by stakeholders to increase trade facilitation.
“Because of this issue about mismatching of numbers of the other agencies we have seen that there have been a lot of delay activities on the part of other inspection agencies,” Simon Kumah, a Customs official said.
West Blue Consulting, called for clearing agents to respond to text messages for inspection on time and charged the FDA and GSA to increase the number of inspection officers to speed up process.
“If I send a text message or the system sends a message to the various players in the field and they don’t turn up what happens then?”


Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders emphasized the need for a more organized governing body that would regulate the Paperless system for overall success.
“If we do not get all these MDAs on the same table under one… In fact, if you look at WTO governance structure it should be headed necessarily by the President,” Eddy Akrong, Executive Secretary of GIFF lamented.




12/4/2018 2:55:39 Pm
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