Ghana's Trading Hub News

Single Window gets high UN ratings


The Single Window project has received high ratings from the United Nations (UN) for its major reforms in removing trade barriers in the country.

The rating, which was contained in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) case study report, highlighted the efficiency in reducing the human interface in trade transactions and allowing the processes to be automated.

The report commended the technical partners for the project, West Blue Consulting for reforms in reducing the pressure on the government to ensure efficient, fast and reliable clearance procedures. 

It cited major achievements of the project such as the increase in transparency about rules and regulations, reduction in the length of clearance processes and documents required.

West Blue rated high 

The report commended the project consulting company, West Blue Consulting, for taking the project much further by extending the National Single Window automation and integration approach to all government agencies and private sector operators involved in international trade, utilising existing systems and infrastructure.

“The project has achieved trade facilitation to enhance administrative efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs and time to markets, and increase predictability in global trade”, the report stated.

A key feature of the second phase of the Single Window project is the fully automated and paperless “single entry point” that will facilitate the single submission - by businesses - of the required trade information for processing by the government.

The first delivery under the phase two of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) programme was the fully automated Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS) in late 2015.

The pre-arrival classification and valuation process, which had previously been done by five inspecting companies, was discontinued in order to bring the country into line with global best practice as recommended by the World Trade Organisation.

PAARS has reduced the time for import classification and valuation of compliant transactions from two weeks to the established 48 hours Service Level Agreement - and in some cases just two hours.

The PAARS system was complemented by the launch in April 2016 of the electronic payment system for the Import Declaration Form (IDF). 

Companies can now purchase these in bulk via credit card, mobile money or bank draft. This is a pilot concept and the same methodology will be applied to other payment areas.

Time and cost of business

It is estimated that the implementation of the Single Window strategy will reduce the time and cost of trade related procedures in Ghana by approximately 50 per cent, which would result in savings to the economy of over US$ 120 million annually. 

It is expected that there will be a simultaneous increase in government revenue due to greater compliance and increased trade. 

The programme is also expected to enhance the potential for foreign direct investment in the country and strengthen the country’s standing in the international community in terms of its ranking in global economic performance indicators.

The Single Window project has received high ratings from the United Nations (UN) for its major reforms in removing trade barriers in the country.

 The rating, which was contained in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) case study report, highlighted the efficiency in reducing the human interface in trade transactions and allowing the processes to be automated.

The report commended the technical partners for the project, West Blue Consulting for reforms in reducing the pressure on the government to ensure efficient, fast and reliable clearance procedures. 

It cited major achievements of the project such as the increase in transparency about rules and regulations, reduction in the length of clearance processes and documents required.

West Blue rated high 

The report commended the project consulting company, West Blue Consulting, for taking the project much further by extending the National Single Window automation and integration approach to all government agencies and private sector operators involved in international trade, utilising existing systems and infrastructure.

“The project has achieved trade facilitation to enhance administrative efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs and time to markets, and increase predictability in global trade”, the report stated.

A key feature of the second phase of the Single Window project is the fully automated and paperless “single entry point” that will facilitate the single submission - by businesses - of the required trade information for processing by the government.

The first delivery under the phase two of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) programme was the fully automated Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS) in late 2015.

The pre-arrival classification and valuation process, which had previously been done by five inspecting companies, was discontinued in order to bring the country into line with global best practice as recommended by the World Trade Organisation.

PAARS has reduced the time for import classification and valuation of compliant transactions from two weeks to the established 48 hours Service Level Agreement - and in some cases just two hours.

The PAARS system was complemented by the launch in April 2016 of the electronic payment system for the Import Declaration Form (IDF). 

Companies can now purchase these in bulk via credit card, mobile money or bank draft. This is a pilot concept and the same methodology will be applied to other payment areas.

Time and cost of business

It is estimated that the implementation of the Single Window strategy will reduce the time and cost of trade related procedures in Ghana by approximately 50 per cent, which would result in savings to the economy of over US$ 120 million annually. 

It is expected that there will be a simultaneous increase in government revenue due to greater compliance and increased trade. 

The programme is also expected to enhance the potential for foreign direct investment in the country and strengthen the country’s standing in the international community in terms of its ranking in global economic performance indicators.

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