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Paperless Port @ Risk …As New Single Window Emerges
Source: Peacefmonline   |   September 20, 2017   |  82 Views

Barely three weeks after the much-touted paperless port commenced the Ministry of Trade and Industry has issued a public notice that plans are far advanced to deploy another Trade Facilitation tool, the UNIPASS Customs Technology, to provide a National Single Window Platform.

The announcement comes as a shock to importers and traders in the sector especially when already; a comprehensive national single window is being deployed by West Blue Consulting in collaboration with Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The Ministry’s notice is also coming at a time when all systems including that of West Blue, GCNet, GPHA and Customs have integrated.

The deployment of a new single window is expected to spark an unending chaos at the port and is likely to make Ghana become a laughing stock in the international business community.

Government’s revenue has increased tremendously since 2015 when the national single window began.

Even before the West Blue’s arrival work on establishing a Single Window in Ghana commenced in 2000 and the initial system was launched by GCNet in 2002.

This focused primarily on automating Customs’ process and procedures and also linking the systems of a number of other government agencies.

In September 2015, the Government of Ghana decided to launch the 2nd phase of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) programme and signed a five-year contract with West Blue Consulting to undertake the work.

West Blues technology incorporates trade facilitation systems such as an Integrated Risk Management System (IRMS), Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Mechanism and Cargo Transit Note (CTN) Technology.

Barely halfway into the five-year contract, the Trade Ministry is looking to sign another contract with UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) to deploy same single window before done by West Blue.

Nick Scan Single Window

The new single window agenda is being spearheaded by Nick Danso’s company, Ghana Link Network Services Limited in partnership with Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) an international agency of Korea Customs Service. 

Ghana Link Network Services Limited was part of the Destination Inspection Companies that Government refused to renew its contract with them to undertake destination inspection job at the port in 2015 when their contract expired.

Duplication of Function

Government’s intention to contract a new company to perform the same duty being undertaking by West Blue will be a duplication of function which will make government lose revenue, frustrate importers unnecessarily and overburden them with more taxes. 

Bawumia’s Paperless port at Risk

Many believe UNIPASS’s single window will be a duplication of function and disrupt the vice president’s paperless port which has brought relieve to importers and increased government’s revenue. 

The vice president has managed to make business at the port friendly and efficient by introducing the paperless port.

He achieved the paperless port by ensuring the integration of all systems at the port including that of West Blue, GCNet, GPHA and Customs.

The introduction of the paperless port has reduced time and cost of doing business at the port and increased port revenue by 56 percent in just one week of its implementation.

Now the question many importers are asking is why another single window when the ports have gone paperless under the supervision of the vice president and importers are now getting used to the new system in clearing their goods within a maximum of four hours.

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