Strategic Action Plan for Ghana National Single Window launched

Strategic Action Plan for Ghana National Single Window launched

Mr Tepker (standing) launching the Strategic Action Plan. With him are Mr George Blankson (2nd right), Mr John Vianney (right) both of GRA and Mr Boamah from the office of the President. 

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is to introduce an automated registration and payment system as part of efforts to push for a paperless trade system

Under the new system which forms part of the strategic action plan for the Ghana Single Window, the processes will involve the registration of businesses while payments for services would be automated to reduce human interference to a large extent.

The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr George Blankson, who announced this at the launch of the Strategic Action Plan for the Ghana National Single Window in Accra, said the new system was part of changes that would be introduced within the GRA.

“We also have in the plan to introduce automated registration and payments in a number of key areas and we will fully automate and integrate key process into a paperless system for trade,” he said.

Other changes that will be introduced as part of the second phase of the Ghana National Single Window, he said, included the implementation of a single and fully integrated risk management system that will result in a significant reduction in the number of consignments inspected by Customs.

“Further, we will simplify, and eliminate cumbersome procedures in a number of areas and we intend to collaborate with our sister agencies to significantly reduce the intrusive inspections and interventions along the trade process in Ghana,” he said.

The GRA, he said, was also committed to greatly enhancing transparency in service delivery by the authority.

Facilitating trade

He also explained that the GRA was strengthening the effectiveness of its regulatory responsibilities by creating disincentives and stumbling blocks f

or delinquent traders and rolling out red carpet for compliant traders.

“This is the fundamental principle of trade facilitation and it is well proven that this approach works to strengthen the economy by enhancing revenue mobilisation and protecting society against consumption of harmful goods,” he said.

Mr Blankson explained that a well designed National Single Window is an effective tool for significant enhancement in revenue and trade facilitation, as was the case in many countries worldwide.

“We will focus initially on “quick wins” that address specific areas where we can quickly increase efficiency. We will be guided in this by our dialogue with the business community, our partners of the World Trade,” he said.

The new roadmap

The strategy and roadmap for the future of the National Single Window, he said, was aimed at achieving a fundamental enhancement in the way business was conducted at the Customs Division of the GRA.

He said the implementation of the National Single Window in Ghana which was in its second phase, had made significant progress.

“We are poised to go much faster and much deeper. In particular, we will engage more fully with our partner government  agencies that are critical achieve the overall objective of the programme – enhanced competitiveness and growth of the Ghanaian economy,” he said.

Ghana National Single Window

West Blue Ghana Limited and GCNet Services have been implementing the National Single Window (NSW) system, a single entry point for traders to submit information to the government to fulfil import or export-related regulatory requirements since 2015.

The two institutions are working with other scanning companies to ensure an efficient and user-friendly e-clearance regime. It is expected to be a one-stop shop to ensure minimal bureaucracy, enhance data transparency and increase trade revenue.

The NSW is also part of the government’s decision not to renew the contract of destination inspection companies (DICs) when it expired in September last year.

The Chief Executive Officer of Westblue Consulting, Ms Valentina Mintah, said the concept of the single window was to create an environment and systems to reduce the cost and time of doing business in Ghana.

She said the vision was to achieve a 50 per cent better, faster and less cost trading across borders in three years. — GB

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