Ghana's Trading Hub News

Single Window full implementation yet to take off

The full implementation of the Single Window Concept of goods clearance at the country's ports has not yet taken off as being speculated. Mr Frederick Gavor, Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, said the implementation of the concept would commence in March 2016. Mr Gavor disclosed this in Tema during a Continuing Professional Development Programme organised by the Tema Branch of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He explained that for the past one month, the Customs Division started the implementation of the Pre-Arrival Assessment and Report System (PAARS) and not the Single Window System.

The PAAR is a system, which allows to key in the needed information concerning their consignment before its arrival in Ghana to enable the Customs Division to do its assessment and classification prior to arrival for easy clearance. He added that the Single Window is still at its planning stage with the formation of an Inter-ministerial Consultative Committee under the Chief of Staff's Office. Mr Gavor said the Committee is working to iron out duplications in the mandate of the various controlling state agencies that have a stake in the international trade operations. According to him, the need for the consultation was important as clearance involves the interventions of all kinds of state agencies whose roles duplicate each other. The Committee, he said is having consultations with the various agencies to iron out the legal differences for the process to be harmonised and streamlined for the full implementations.

The Deputy Commissioner said the Single Window has two components, with the first being the replacement of the Destination Inspection Scheme with the PAARS on September 1. Assessing the one-month operations of the PAAR, Mr Gavor indicated that there are few challenges but his outfit has mark-up remedies to address them, and the system is now getting to a point of stability. Mrs Sylvia A. D. Owu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, of the Ghana Shippers Authority, commended the Customs Division for the initiative to reduce the delays in the clearing process describing it as a 'one stop shop'. Mrs Owu, however, called for more engagement between Customs and her outfit to ensure that proper education is carried out to ensure the smooth running of the PAARS. She noted that in the one month of the PAARS implementation, some shippers have challenges with the key-in due to lack of sensitisation. Captain William Amenhyia, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, said the system would increase efficiency and cost savings for traders in their dealings with state authorities in obtaining the relevant clearance. Captain Amenhyia, however, said one month is too early to make good assessment of the PAAR but commended Customs for its commencement.



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  1. HHIOJ's avatar HHIOJ said on 10/14/2017 6:28 AM: Reply  

    Surety Market Overview: A Look at Capacity, Availability and Losses for Every Size Contractor

    Posted @ 10/19/2015 7:05 PM By Kathryn Woerheide
    Posted in Legal, News & Opinion | 0 Comments

    Despite the fact that the construction economy continues to recover with backlogs growing stronger each year, there is still significant capacity for contractors of all sizes. Whether it is a small or mega-size contractor, capacity looks to remain extremely strong again in the year ahead. —Michael J. Mitchell, The Graham Company

    Capacity is substantial at all market levels. While the players are not always the same at the small and mega range, adequate surety capacity is available to support virtually any size construction operation. —Chris Murphy, Travelers

    The entry of several new sureties over the past few years, along with a favorable reinsurance market, has had a positive impact on surety capacity. For contractors that continue to focus on managing expenses and debt, as well as maintaining reasonable backlog, surety capacity remains plentiful for all market sizes. Surety capacity also remains available in the specialty surety markets for contractors that have weak balance sheets due to excess debt and poor operating results. —Michael P. Cifone, Hudson Insurance Group

    Surety capacity in the under $10 million segment is robust. Longstanding surety carriers have been augmented with a number of newer market entrants to more than amply serve the small contractor community. —Chris Hunt, Liberty Mutual

    Plenty of surety capacity remains available to contractors with annual revenues in the $10 million to $100 million range. When commercial construction activity slowed way down in 2009, the national sureties developed a sharper focus on medium-sized contractors; many regional bonding companies targeted contractors at the upper levels of the $10 million to $100 million range; and some new sureties have been formed that are also competing for contractors in this space. All of these activities translate into sufficient surety capacity for medium-sized contractors. In recent years, our agency rarely deals with capacity issues for either existing clients or prospects. —Mike Specht, Minard-Ames Insurance Services / INSURICA

    Capacity for mid-market surety may be at an all-time high, and contractors that are working with the right insurance carriers and agents certainly can benefit. Many new markets have begun to enter this space, while traditionally small markets are beginning to reach up to the mid-market domain. We see further examples in which large and mega-market sureties now have greater interest in sliding back into mid-market opportunities. —Robert Thomas, Hanover Surety

    Qualified contractors will find ample capacity from their sureties. —Edward Titus, Philadelphia Insurance Companies

    The surety market for contractors performing projects under $100 million is very competitive. We are seeing an adequate amount of surety capacity in this market segment for properly capitalized and well-managed contractors. —Josh Penwell, Merchants Bonding

    Surety capacity remains strong in the middle market arena due to profitable results over the past several years. Senior management looks at the profitable results and allocates capital to this line of business as demonstrated by the new entrants into all segments of the marketplace. This ultimately increases overall capacity in the middle market. —Antonio C.
    Albanese, Nationwide Surety & Fidelity

    There is an abundance of capacity in every segment of the market, with the middle to large segment being the sweet spot for the vast majority of surety companies. —Matthew S. Haydon, Arch Insurance Company

    Surety capacity remains plentiful and competitive for the mega market from a handful of sureties, often working in co-surety arrangements. The surety capacity available often far exceeds the contractor’s capacity to man the work, serving as a natural temper to uncontrolled growth. The issue of talent and labor shortages is driving the discussion. —Susan Hecker, National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP)

    There is ample availability in every segment of the market. Terms and conditions have been marginally deteriorating each year for the past few years, and we would expect this trend to continue as the surety industry, in general, has experienced very good underwriting results. —Matthew S. Haydon, Arch Insurance Company

    Sureties continue to be hungry for more business even in light of the recent construction recovery. Surety availability is strong; this is truly a buyer’s market regardless of the size of the construction company. —Michael J. Mitchell, The Graham Company

    Many surety companies have an appetite for bonding all size contractors, and there have been recent market entrants that focus on small and middle, and some that focus on large/mega, although these entrants do not typically overlap each other. —Chris Murphy, Travelers

    Availability of surety credit for contractors performing on work programs under $10 million is plentiful. Increasingly, automated, credit-based models are common at the lower end of the range, with traditional underwriting criteria more common toward the upper end. Collateral terms are not uncommon in the under $10 million segment. —Chris Hunt, Liberty Mutual

    Most small to mid-sized contractors have many options available to them regarding their surety needs. Successful contractors have an opportunity to increase capacity and improve terms and conditions of their surety program. Contractors that may have struggled during the past year also will find surety support in this market. —Michael P. Cifone, Hudson Insurance Group
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