The total cost of doing business at the ports has reduced from GH¢1,280 to GH¢320 after the implementation of the Paperless Clearing System.
This, according to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, represents about 75 percent.
Answering a question as to whether the introduction of the paperless port has increased the cost of doing business at the ports in parliament yesterday, the Minister of Finance said the system has rather reduced cost of doing business at the ports drastically.
According to him, the ministry, in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Freight Forwarders Association, conducted comparative analysis on the cost of doing business in a pre and post paperless regime at the ports and it was established empirically that the cost of doing business has reduced by 75 percent.
He said the findings of the research also showed that cost components of doing business at the ports had also reduced from seven to three.
The minister explained that the Paperless System, which was introduced on September 1, 2017, is to help speed up the process of clearing goods at the ports from two weeks to four hours and also ensure order at the ports to block loopholes in revenue mobilization.
According to the minister, the paperless port system is also to ensure that Ghana’s ports compete favourably with other ports in the sub-region and help reduce cost of doing business in the private sector to generate adequate revenue to support the developmental agenda of the government.
He said the new system had improved clearance process since importers and agents are able to receive Customs Classification Valuation Reports (CCVR) within 24 hours compared to the previous time frame of three days.
“Before the paperless regime doing business at the ports included cost of obtaining CCVR, compliance, regulatory agencies, shipping line demurrage, GHPA Rent or overstayed, printing of declarations and miscellaneous but after the implementation one needed to deal with the cost of obtaining CCVR, regulatory agencies and miscellaneous,” he said.
He, however, said that there have been reports of some difficulties and the ministry was going round all the regions to solicit views to how to resolve the concerns raised by members of the public.