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Importers and clearing agents in the country have lauded the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS) implemented by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The system has made clearing of goods at the various ports in the country very easy and quick, according to them. The importers and clearing agents disclosed this to the media at a stakeholders’ workshop on the PAARS organized by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the Conference Room of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders in Tema. PAARS is a modernized system that has been developed by the Customs Division of GRA as part of the implementation of the National Single Window system to enhance revenue mobilization, improve border security and customs clearance, overcome duplication across regulatory agencies and promote trade facilitation.
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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 Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its half year tax revenue collection target of GHÈ¼10,320,027,000.00, raking in GHÈ¼10,503,027,000.00 during the period. Mr. Seth Akuffo Anoff, an Economist at the Tax Policy Unit of the Finance Ministry, who announced this, said these were mainly from corporate tax, import duty and levies, petroleum tax, mineral royalties, domestic value added tax (VAT) and communication service tax.
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.
“I used three days to clearing my goods. This is a significant difference because in the past it took about a week or a minimum of four working days to get your documents from the inspection companies. “But this took me just three days –meaning two more days off which is a lot of money saved because if you keep your container after seven working days you start paying demurrages and rent. That is to say, I was able to work within time not to attract these costs,” he emphasized.
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