The International Customs Day has been celebrated in Accra, Ghana where custom officials as well as allied security agencies assembled to review the role of Customs in the swift and smooth cross-border movement of goods and people.
The Commissioner General of Ghana Revenue Authority, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, described the role of Customs as pivotal in facilitating global trade systems.
“This is exemplified by the fact that customs working together with other border agencies play a pivotal role and facilitating trade and travel in simplifying, standardizing and harmonizing border procedures and securing our borders,”
He said the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has reinvented itself to align with the World Customs’ Organization’s objective of smart borders for seamless trade, travel and transport.
“The concept of smart borders which highlight custom’s role in supporting the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development means ensuring timely delivery of raw materials to industries, reducing unfair competition in local communities, opening up opportunity for marginalize communities to access new markets, creating transparent and predictable conditions for trade and facilitating legitimate business that will intend contribute community growth and job opportunity”
The Commissioner of Customs division of GRA, Isaac Crentsil who read a speech on behalf of Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO urged cooperation among allied security agencies to ensure a secure and fast border movement.
“We want to invite the custom community to reflect on how custom could reengineer business processes, applying new technologies and work smartly to achieve an interconnected global value chain that foster economic growth in an inclusive manner. In the pursuit of a less cumbersome environment where data is mined, shared and effectively analysed, custom should rely on automated processes and not neglect the importance of conducting further studies to analyse impact of cyber security threat,”
He also suggested that, to reach the optimum goal of a seamless trade and border control, automation processes should not be neglected.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, implored Customs to evaluate its own performance in order to arrive at resolutions to seal leakages to mobilizing revenue for the state.
“At the finance ministry, the custom division of GRA should use this international Customs’ Day to reflect seriously over its performance in recent years. Tasked with the responsibility of protecting our borders and mobilizing revenue, its inability to meet set revenue target from 2016 is of serious worry to government,”
He charged Custom Officers and importers alike to work with diligence, integrity, and strict observance of all customs regulations.
“The implication of the slogan for the celebration of the 2019 international Customs’ Day, smart borders for seamless trade, travel and transport should not be lost on us. This means diligence, honesty, integrity and strict observance on the part of custom officers as well as importers of all the rules and regulations covering cross border movement of goods and people,”
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, emphasized that trade facilitation and revenue mobilization should not be treated as two separate entities but rather complementary pieces to the nation’s trade objective.
“Today you enter the classroom and the first thing you see is trade facilitation and revenue mobilization, the two goes together. So it’s always important that we don’t try to dissect these two activities and make it whole by ensuring that the complementarity of the two activities will inure to the benefit of the nation,”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Highways Authority blames non-compliance of axle load policy for poor Road Network on Ghana’s Transit Corridors
The Ghana Highways Authority has complained bitterly about the non-compliance of the axle load policy by truck drivers saying the phenomenon has been a major contributor to the deterioration of roads in Ghana’s transit corridors.
During a presentation as part of the World’s Customs Day Celebration, the Ghana Highways Authority explained that, to arrest the non-compliance of the axle load policy, an axle load control strategy has been formulated to reduce the overloading of trucks to the barest minimum.
According to the Authority, 18 permanent weighbridges are operational across the country to curb the menace.
The Authority said, the Axle Load Control is pivotal to a secure and safe transit business. Thus measures are being implemented to enforce laws that guard the policy.
The Ghana Highways Authority concluded that, it is committed to improving the road network on Ghana’s transit corridors so as to improve free flow of transit goods to their respective destinations.
Both Customs and Ghana Immigrations pledged their commitment to working together to improve activities at Ghana's Boarders.