Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority News

Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority and the leadership of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority have held a review meeting to evaluate the paperless port clearance procedures whose implementation at Ghana’s ports begun some six months ago.
The two institutions had come to the understanding, that although the paperless port clearance processes had yielded tremendous impact in the last period of its implementation, especially in the areas of revenue generation and ease of doing business, the system had also not been without some technical difficulties.
This is what motivated the Port Authority to have an initial dialogue with Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, a leading agency as far as Port processes and operations are concerned. 
The preliminary dialogue is to raise some of the pertinent challenges and identify possible remedies prior to meeting a bigger forum comprising other stakeholder agencies.
The deliberation was centered on ten-point challenges raised by the Port Authority in the areas of:
1) The Correlation between CMRs and Customs Declaration
2) One Declaration cleared from two different terminals
3) Short collection
4) Premises Examination
5) Unmanifested Cargoes-Baggage (No Entry)
6) Post Entries After Clearance
7) First release and opening of containers (consolidation)
8) Empty Container Evacuation
                                                                                                                        9) Partial Delivery
                                                                                                                       10) Transfer of Containers by Private CFS

The Deliberations revealed a number of gray areas of difficulties that required further consultations by the two agencies separately, and among other service providers in order to obtain lasting resolutions. 
Both the Director General of GPHA and the Commissioner of Customs were excited about the bilateral deliberations and promised to separately tackle the issues raised in their respective organizations.
“It is my hope that we follow through the road map we have identified to the conclusion so that we would be able to address these challenges successfully and come up with the flawless paperless system that will help us achieve the maximum objective,” the Director General, Paul Asare of GPHA expressed.
The Commissioner of Customs also said, “even though we are going to take this to a bigger forum in the evaluation process, it is good that we are have started here early so that we come out with concrete procedures so that when we meet the larger forum we will be able to come out successfully”.
The Board Chairman of GPHA, Peter Mac Manu who walked through the deliberations briefly congratulated Customs and GPHA for exhibiting harmonization in the interest of the state.

The GPHA Security together with the Police Patrol Unit in Tema Port have intercepted an illegal exchange of fuel on the Ghanaian Waters near the Tema Port.
While performing their routine inspections, the Patrol team comprising of GPHA security and Marine Police came across three men offloading gallons of fuel reported to have been transported from the high seas for sale.
According to the Port Security Manager of Tema Port, Lt. Col. Joseph Punamane, the natives connive with some ship owners to siphon sludge fuel into gallons and bring to shore for the local market. 
He said firstly, the act is dangerous as it is prone to polluting Ghana’s water bodies. And also, such unauthorized, discreet methods of trade, deprives the country of revenue.
“They go in there conniving with some of the ships on the high seas and collect some of the sludge oil into small boats and canoes and bring them offshore to go and sell and by so doing the government is losing revenue,” he said.
The Security Manager informed that, there are existing licensing procedures that enable local companies to properly take receipt of sludge fuel and advised that those interested in that business should go through that process of trading.

He stated that the culprits would pay a fine to GPHA and be handed over to the Police to face prosecution.
“After they have paid that penalty, we will hand them over to the police and they would also conclude the investigations,” he added.
Detective Inspector Donkor of the Marine Police Unit, Tema said the supply vessel had already taken leave by the time they could contact it.  However, the local culprits would go through court proceedings for the appropriate sanctioning to deter potential offenders. 
The joint security team comprising the Ports Security and the Marine Police however solicited support from stakeholders to play a role to combat such illegal activities and marine crimes on the Ghanaian waters which includes illegal ship to ship bunkering, piracy, and stowaway and so on.

The Heads of the Ghana Police Transformation Programme has met with management of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority to deliberate on issues of grave concern as well as solicit assistance to transform the Ghana Police Service. 
The Assistant Commissioner of Police, ASP Benjamin Agordzo acknowledged GPHA for its support and kind gesture to the Ghana Police Service over the years. He said as part of their transformational agenda, it was necessary for the two entities to discuss how best they can work together to strengthen their relationship that will inure to the benefit of both parties. 

Speaking at the meeting, ASP Agordzo told the Director General of GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah and his team that the police is appreciative of all the support that has been offered by GPHA to boost policing in Ghana including the donation of a patrol vehicle which was received by the current IGP and then Commissioner of Police in charge of Marine. Also the regular rehabilitation of the Tema Regional Police Center as well as the Railways and Police Station at the Port of Tema. 
He however bemoaned that Police Service is struggling to meet the expectation of the general public because they are not empowered enough by way of modern and reliable equipment to operate. 
The Director General of GPHA, Paul Asare-Ansah on behalf of management congratulated ASP Agordzo for his desire to see a very formidable and modern police force that is capable of facing modern challenges in the course of their work. 
He further advised that, there is the need to enhance capacity of the police and ensure their mandate is jealously protected. 

“It must be a wakeup call for all of us to put in whatever contribution, whatever assistance we can provide, to make the Police institution, a capable and efficient institution capable of delivering on that mandate so that we all feel safe,” he intimated.  
GPHA, according to him, is ready to partner with the police in achieving set goals that will keep everyone safe in their communities. 
Paul Asare-Ansah said as part of GPHA’s Corporate Social Responsibility, building of police station is core, however, the Authority has resolved to get value for money on all their Corporate Social Responsibility projects. 

“So we are ready to listen to you, the areas of the transformational agenda so that we can come up with an integrated strategic plan based on your goals and your objectives and your strategic approach to achieve all those goals,” he added. 
The General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs of GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor, said the transit trade corridors have series of reports and complaints that frustrate their smooth operations. “The transittors are telling us that since the customs were removed, the police have rather increased their temporal borders and are taking monies from them,” she lamented.
She added, “the transit corridors have actually increased in recent times and it is one of the areas that we would also like to cooperate with you for our mutual benefit.”
She also called for effective collaboration between the Police and GPHA to fight the issue of stowaways. 
The Port Security Manager also assured the police of his outfit’s support in protecting lives and properties particularly at the port. 

Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Asare Ansah has charged personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service operating in the Ports of Ghana to contribute towards improving on the integrity of the Port business environment.
He said the Port Authority is inundated with complaints from shipping lines who say agencies allowed to go into vessels to undertake various processes and documentations extort food and other items from vessels in the name of protocol goods.
Paul Asare Ansah made this known when Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Kwame Asuah Takyi visited the Port Authority to strengthen the cordial relationship that exists between the two organisations.

“The bad practices were disturbing. So we will appeal to you, as you are here to take some collaborative effort to minimize such incidences that go a long way to tarnish our image. Sometimes we feel compelled to put our security men on board to look out for some of these policy measures,” he lamented.
He charged state agencies who go on board vessels to eschew such unethical practices so as to create a friendly business environment for the Port.
“The Burkina border is of a very strategic importance to us and for that matter we constantly monitor what happens. You know the Malians normally pass through Bobo-Dioulasso through Hamile and the Nigeriens through Bawku so if we can facilitate their movement and not compromise security and safety, it will be best.”
“Truly as an officer you need to comport yourself because you represent Mother Ghana. An immigration officer is an international officer as we say because whatever you do affects your organisation or your country. So, we are going to talk to them,” the Comptroller General assured.
The Ghana Immigration Service pledged their commitment to collaborate with other agencies to curb such unethical practices in the Port operations.


The Ghana Shippers Authority has held a sensitization workshop for haulage drivers to discuss road safety along Ghana’s corridor.
Noncompliance to road safety regulations has led to accidents, delays and extortions on the country’s transit corridor.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority Benonita Bismarck said the authority in line with its mandate of promoting and protecting the interest of shippers is collaborating with stakeholders of the trade and transport industry to make it efficient and competitive.
“The republic of Ghana has a compliance with international agreements, protocols and conventions offered its territory as a corridor for its landlocked neighbours to transit their goods to and from these countries. Following from this, significant efforts have been made to facilitate transit trade and made its corridor one of the most competitive and attractive in the sub region,” she stated.

The General Manager for Marketing and Corporate Affairs of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Esther Gyebi-Donkor emphasized that the transit trade development requires the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders along the corridor including the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Freight Forwarders, Shipping Lines, Ghana Highways Authority, National Road Safety Commission, Ghana Police Service, District and Municipal Authorities and Insurance Companies.
She said, GPHA has worked very hard with other stakeholders in growing the transit trade but there is more room for improvement especially in road incidents involving trucks carrying transit cargo.
“Transit cargo through the ports of Ghana, which is Tema and Takoradi grew from 1,027,787 tonnes in 2016 to 1,249,336 in 2017 – a 22% increase. Another critical component of efficient knowledge system is compliance with laid down conventions both at the country and sub-regional level”, she highlighted.

The Planning Officer of the Accra Commission for the National Road Safety Commission, Charles Oduro Kwarteng said the commission records not less than 11,400 crashes yearly with the heavy duty vehicles being 3rd victims compared to saloon cars and mini-buses.

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