We’re not undermining paperless process – Freight Forwarders

The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) Kwabena Ofosu Appiah says it is not true that freight forwarders are impeding the paperless process at the Port as reported in sections of the media.

He said GIFF is as soon as practicable calling for a road map for version 1:1 of the paperless process set on course to re-align the processes to depict the true intent of His Excellency the Vice President’s white paper on the Paperless Policy.

Mr Ofosu Appiah said this at a Press Conference organised at the GIFF secretariat in Tema to debunk a newspaper reportage by the Daily Graphic alleging that freightforwarders were frustrating the paperless process at the Port.

He said the monday edition of the September 11th edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper reportage which suggested that frwight forwarders were frustrating the paperless process at the Port is untrue and has no merit.

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He noted that freight forwarders since the inception of the paperless regime have been very cooperative and under no circumstance have they undermined the process in anyway.

“Apart from a few bottlenecks to be addressed, the paperless policy is a good one by all standards and it is so worrying and disappointing for a newspaper to carry on its front page that we freight forwarders, are frustrating the paperless process at the Port, which is indeed false,” he noted.

Mr Ofosu Appiah said the Daily Graphic reportage on Monday was quite unfortunate and had no merit whatsoever.

“We are committed to the success of the paperless project, we have issues however, real issues of which we had course to interact with the commissioner of Customs and we believe they would be addressed to the benefit of all,” he stressed.

He said GIFF is advocating for a call centre under the control of an Assistant Commissioner which can take issues from end to end and escalate them for solutions from appropriate quarters in real tomb as well as a commissioners order which have been awaiting must be composed and released to give clarity to the paperless process on the grounds as promised.

He added that there is the need for an ever present high level monitoring and reporting dashboard unit with the capacity of overseeing the end to end process and where it is stalling for quick redress.

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Mr Ofosu Appiah however announce that the issues frustrating the smooth operation of the paperless system at the Port are the absence of effective call centre, responding to end to end issues, difficulties in transmission of CCVR’s from PAARS to GICCS.

Extreme delays at compliance; ranging from 48 hours to over 7 days and counting. Misalignment of the old and new process resulting in confused process by pass thereby leading to the virtual evaporation of declarations in the system as well as failure of GPHA booking and billing system.

These he said are the issues frustrating the new paperless policy and not freight forwarders.

“We are fully for the paperless policy since if it is fine tuned, it shall indeed be of good help to freight forwarders.”

Regarding the clearance of containers in four hours, Mr Ofosu Appiah said that could only happen after six months of fine tuning the newly introduced paperless policy.

Meanwhile the AssistantCommissioner of Customs in charge of Policy and Programmes, Richard Patrick Yawutse in an earlier interview with Citi news debunked allegations that some persons were sabotaging the policy.

He said the key issue affecting the process is miscommunication between parties and this is being addressed to ensure a smooth operation of the policy.

By: Elvis Washington/citifmonline.com/Ghana