Over 300 importers and exporters at the Tema Port have undergone a day’s training on the Single Window System (SWS) introduced by the government for trade facilitation at the port.
Organised by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the workshop was aimed at creating the platform for importers and exporters to discuss some of their challenges since the SWS was introduced two months ago.
Most of the participants mentioned unreliable internet connectivity as the major challenge hindering their operations.
The Single Window System introduced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry primarily provides the platform for an integrated clearance process to minimise the human factor as much as possible and, to a large extent help to reduce the processing time for trade documents.
After 15 years of operating with destination inspection companies (DICs), the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority took over that task on September 1, this year, to enhance Customs functions as a stop-gap measure to improve on trade facilitation.
The concept also provides an opportunity for importers and exporters to electronically lodge their documents, including customs declarations, certificates of origin and invoices at a single location to be accessed by all regulatory and trade agencies, instead of traders sending copies of the same documents to different agencies.
The new system being implemented by West Blue Consulting is in collaboration with GCNet Service and other scanning companies at the Port.
The Managing Director of Golden Sail Logistics, importers and exporters of logistics, Mr Daniel Appiah, said the system had ensured the speedy processing and clearing of goods at the port, thereby reducing cost of clearing.
He said although there were challenges concerning internet connectivity, about 85 per cent of “our worries have been addressed”.
“Since the Single Window System was introduced in September, our daily activities concerning the clearing of goods at the port have improved tremendously,” Mr Appiah said.
The Administrator of Damco Logistics Ghana Limited, Ms Mabel Kabutey, said the SWS had enhanced the daily operations of importers and exporters, adding that “my company can now perform its duties with less difficulty”.