Single Window Increases Revenue By 24%

Implementation of the single window system has increased government’s revenue by 24 percent over the past two years, rising from GH₵744 billion in 2015 to GH₵975 billion in 2017, the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division’s Monthly Import Revenue Performance data for the period has revealed.

For the first four months of this year, the total amount of revenue realised from imports stands at GH₵3.59billion, a development that portends an increase in total revenue to be collected by Customs at end of the year.

If the first four months revenue of 2018 is compared with the same period last year,–GH₵3.21bn, revenue is up by 11.7 percent. The GRA projects to achieve a 30 percent growth in revenue by the end of the year.

The improved revenue performance depicts the synergy that has been built at the country’s sea and air ports by the various service providers to ensure a seamless process, reduced time and cost of doing business at the ports.

The Ghana’s Maritime Trade Review 2017, published by the Ghana Shippers Authority, shows that Ghana sustained its maritime trade performance in 2017 amid “uncertainties in the aftermath of elections and weak export commodity prices”.

“Ghana’s seaborne trade volume increased by 15.9% in 2017 over the year 2016, and the outlook for 2018 is a growth of about 10% in cargo throughput,” the report noted.

The Ghana 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) to set us on this course. This journey we have since progressively updated and extended in line with international best practices.

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.

Customs thus took over their core mandate of Classification, Valuation and Risk Management with Westblue Consulting as the Consulting and Technical Partner for the Division; this ushered in the second phase of the Ghana National Single Window, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders’ (GIFF) paper titled ‘The Single Window & Paperless System: The Journey So Far, Need for UNIPASS?’ explained.

In a news conference in Accra on Monday, the GIFF President – speaking on behalf of the Association, said contrary to suggestions that the two service providers championing the delivery of ICT needs for the country’s single window constitutes a double window: “Having these two distinct entities [GCNet and WestBlue Consulting] delivering the single window ICT solution does not constitute a double window. We are very clear in our minds per the WTO/WCO definitions what constitutes a Single Window System”.

He added that the near-perfect single window system now operational at the ports serves the needs of stakeholders and is ‘workable’.

“We have lived this tortuous process of re-aligning these two platforms to the point of near-perfection. Integration issues, observance of mutual ICT protocols and a few others which used to be friction points between these two have been resolved, thus ensuring a less bumpy ride,” Kwabena Ofosu Appiah, President of GIFF said.

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