The Ghana National Single Window designed to enhance the country’s trade and economic development, as well as increase government’s revenue at the various ports of entry has helped to save some $200 million annually, a recent report has revealed.

The second edition of the Ghana Business Development Review, published by the University of Ghana, said about $500 million has been saved over the two and half years that the system has been in place.

It said such amount would have been embezzled to reduce government’s revenue.

It also discussed developments, performance, managerial and governance issues and major constraints of businesses covering the period 2015-2017.

Success

Implementation of the Single Window System has increased government’s revenue significantly by 24 percent over the past two years, rising from GH₵744 billion in 2015 to ₵975 billion in 2017, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Customs Division’s Monthly Import Revenue Performance data for the period also revealed.

For the first four months of this year, the total amount of revenue realized from imports stood at GH₵3.59billion, a development that portends an increase in total revenue expected by customs at end of the year.

Easy payment

Ghana National Single Window Cash Xpress Card, launched by the Ghana Revenue Authority, together with technical partners, West Blue Consulting, has simplified the payment processes at the country’s sea ports and increased government’s revenue, the UGBS report said.

The card, which was designed by Ecobank, according to the report, aims at addressing the cumbersome procedures at the ports to facilitate payment of Customs Duty on the Ghana Trading Hub Portal to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The launch of the payment platform has greatly increased transparency and reduced the possibilities for irregular interventions and payments,” it stated.

National Single Window

Ghana, in 2002, joined the League of Nations, which have braved the odds to properly automate their customs processes by employing the services of Ghana Community Networks (GCNet).

In 2015, the government of Ghana phased out the Destination Inspection Companies whose services had been engaged since the year 2000 to replace the pre-shipment inspection system that involved inspection of imports before shipment from the country of supply.
Ghana National Single Window programme was officially launched on December 1, 2015.

Customs took over their core mandate of Classification, Valuation and Risk Management with WestBlue Consulting as the Consulting and Technical Partner for the Division; and this ushered in the second phase of the Ghana National Single Window.

It would be recalled that Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, recently announced new measures to streamline inspections at the country’s ports in order to further enhance the existing National Single Window and boost government’s revenue.

He announced that effective July 1, 2018, the number of agencies undertaking joint inspections at the ports would be reduced from 16 to three.

The three agencies to remain in operations at the ports are the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Agency (GRA).

Credit: Daily Guide