The GNSW Programme is an all-of-government automation and integration approach to link government agencies and
private sector operators involved in international trade, utilising existing systems and infrastructure wherever this is
efficient and effective.
Key aspects are the fully automated and paperless “single entry point” and the ePayment
These support the single submission - by businesses - of the required trade information for processing by
government agencies and private sector operators; the receipt of relevant responses from government through a
seamless and easy to use service; and the electronic payment of duties, taxes and fees.
The GNSW reduces unnecessary human interface in trade transactions, allowing most processes to be undertaken
automatically. This greatly increases transparency and reduces the possibilities for irregular interventions and
payments. In 2016 alone, the time and cost of importing was reduced by 400 hours and US$50 respectively, per consignment.
Ghana National Single Window – Phased Implementation
Work on establishing a Single Window in Ghana commenced in 2000 and the initial system was launched by GCNet in
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 contracted West Blue Consulting to undertake the work.
This 2nd phase takes 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 wherever this is
efficient and effective.
A key feature of the 2nd phase is the fully automated and paperless “single entry point” to facilitate the single
submission - by businesses - of the required trade information for processing by government agencies and private
sector operators, and the receipt of the relevant responses through a seamless and easy to use service.
also reduces, to the maximum extent possible, the human interface in trade transactions, allowing most processes to be
This greatly increases transparency and reduces the possibilities for irregular interventions
Achievements to Date
The first delivery under Phase 2 of the 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 document inspection companies, was discontinued in order to bring Ghana into line with global best practice as
recommended by WCO and WTO.
PAARS has reduced the time for import classification and valuation of compliant
transactions from 2 weeks to the established 48 hours Service Level Agreement - and in some cases just 2 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.
Another major deliverable was the introduction of Ghana’s First CashXPress Card for payments of Customs Duty and
other fiscal payments on the Ghana’s Trading Hub Portal - see
Other major items delivered to date include:
• Launch of Ghana's Import, Export and Transit Process Manual -
• Trade Information Portal - https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/#
• Expert Tariff Classification Tool - https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/Useful-Tools/Import-Classification-Tool
• Duty Calculation Tool - https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/GeneralGoods
• National Risk Management Strategy
• Price/Valuation Tool -
• Institution of a National Risk Management Committee and Risk Management Team
• National Scanning Policy
• Fully Functioning Help Desk
Future Plans (2017-2020)
Following extensive consultations and a thorough Business Process Analysis of all key trade related agencies and
organizations in the county, West Blue developed the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) Strategy and Roadmap -
see https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/Tools/Logo/1E2EC473F6D1481439810943FE7F64560.pdf. This was
approved by government and launched by the Minister of Finance in June 2016.
The Strategy is comprised of a series of key actions for the further development and implementation of the GNSW
programme in the coming years. These include:
• Automation of Internal Workflow for Each Government Agency
• Implementation of the Single Submission concept within the GNSW
• Establishment of Integrated and Automated Business and Product Registrations systems
• Establishment of an Integrated Risk Management System and Coordinated Inter-Agency Inspection.
• Implementation of Electronic Payments
• Automation of the Customs Long Room
• Introduction of paperless exchange control form
• Introduction of Integrated Permits/Certificates/Declarations Workflow Automation
• Integration of the Port Community System with the GNSW
• Introduction of Paperless Manifests and BAPLIEs
These actions are being implemented over the next 5+ years, with the development of all top priority “quick win” projects
that can deliver a high impact within the first eighteen months (2016 to 2017).
This will be followed by a consolidation
period from 2018-2020, where the key performance indicators will be achieved through the full operationalization of all
the main projects within the scope of the programme. The specific activities that will be undertaken to achieve each of
these items are detailed in the GNSW Strategy.
The GNSW has adopted a Single Automated System model for integrating existing systems and creating new facilities
where required and cost effective. This includes collecting, disseminating and integrating information and data relating to
cross border trade.
The model facilitates both an interfaced and integrated approach where a Partner Government
Agency (PGA) can either process data through the central GNSW platform or directly with their own systems inside the
The GNSW Programme is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by the chief of Staff of the President’s office and
consisting of the Ministers of Finance; Food and Agriculture; Trade and Industry; and Transport. There is also a
Technical Committee consisting of senior officials from all key government and private sector stakeholders. Finally,
there are a number of Working groups for key technical and support areas such as Change Management and Legal
The Steering Committee meets on an occasional basis and the Technical Committee at least once per month. This high
level of political support and the strong attendance of both government and the private sector are critical factors in the
ongoing success of the Programme.
From the outset, the GNSW Programme was conceived as a partnership between business and government to
strengthen Ghana’s trade competitiveness and enhance the participation of the business community in the global
economy, thereby creating new trade and employment opportunities.
This is fundamental to the success of the
Government has been very strong in supporting the programme, with all key Ministries actively engaged in the process.
The Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Customs have been particularly supportive, along with many partner
government agencies. Similarly, the business community has been a key partner in the design, development and
delivery of the GNSW. Support from this group has been very forthcoming from the inception of the project and is
growing even stronger with the effective delivery of services like PAARS.
It is estimated that implementation of the Strategy will reduce the time and cost of trade related procedures in Ghana by
approximately 50% and that this will result in savings to the economy of over US$ 120 million annually.
It is expectedthat there will be a simultaneous increase in government revenue due to greater compliance and increased trade. It isalso expected that the GNSW will enhance the potential for foreign direct investment in the country and will strengthen
the standing of Ghana in the international community in terms of its ranking in global economic performance indicators.
The programme will also have a positive impact on the environment through the reduction in paper usage and travel of
traders to and from government agencies.
The GNSW is financed out of the 1% levy on imports and exports. There will be no additional fees or costs to use the
Impact to Date
In addition to the reduction in time for import classification and valuation of compliant transactions from 2 weeks to 2
days as outlines above, the GNSW has seen a substantial increase in the ranking of Ghana in the World Bank Trade
Across Borders Report, rising 13 places from 167th place in 2016 to 154th in 2017. This was associated with a
reduction in the time and cost of import procedures of 400 hours and US $50 respectively, per consignment. Similar
improvements were registered in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI), where Ghana rose 12 places from
100th in 2014 to 88th in 2016, the largest improvement since the survey was launched in 2007.
Feedback on the impact of the GNSW from the private sector has been very positive (see GNSW Newsletter 2nd
Edition - https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/Portals/0/Images/GNSW%20Brochure%20final%20approved.pdf).
Change and Transition Management
Change and transition management is a critical component of the GNSW implementation programme, and the human
and organizational changes necessary to support and sustain the introduction of the GNSW are being addressed as a
matter of priority.
A full training programme for GNSW stakeholders and users has been developed, along with a
comprehensive communications plan to keep stakeholders up to date. A fully functional Help Desk has also been set up
to assist users in the initial phases of the programme.
GNSW Brochure and Newsletters
GNSW Brochure -
1st Edition Newsletter -
2nd Edition Newsletter -
3rd Edition Newsletter -
Other Key Documents
GNSW Strategy and Roadmap -
Ghana Import, Exort and Transit Manual - https://www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh/Tools/Logo/Process%20Manual.pdf
The Ghana National Single Window Programme was launched in September 2015. As detailed above, a lot has been
achieved in a very short time. This has been helped enormously by the strong support of both government and the
private sector. Continuation of this support is a prerequisite for the ongoing success of the programme.
Further, it isessential that the programme stays focussed on priority deliverables, driven by both government and business needs.
Finally, a comprehensive approach to change and transition management is essential to allay fears, overcome
resistance to change, and ensure the sustainability of the GNSW Programme.
Experience to date gives the programme implementers, both in government and the business community, confidence
that these prerequisites will be met and it is hoped that the GNSW will become a global reference case for best practice
in single window implementation.
For further information, please contact:
The Ghana National Single Window Secretariat
Ministry of Finance
Room 212 New Block
P.O Box MB40