ByÂ Godwin Oritse
THE Ghanian MaritimeÂ industry has againÂ Â beaten its Nigerian counterpart to the simplified cargo clearing process as it commences the electronic cargo clearing process.
Sources close the Ghanian Ports and Harbours Authority said that the entire cargo clearing process in that country has been up graded beyond Nigeria Automated System of Customs Data (ASYCUDA) to a more efficient and internationally accepted customs data information system.
Besides, it was gathered that the GCNET system that the government introduced into its clearing system is a lot better and more efficient than the ASYCUDA 3. 0 that Nigeria is currently operating
Vanguard learnt that as a result of the new clearance procedure, a container can leave the port of Tema within six hours of its arrival, while it takes at least seven to ten days for this same thing to happen in Nigeria.
Unlike in Nigeria where there are Customs long rooms abound in nearly all the ports in the country, the Ghanian Port and Harbours Authority has successfully done away with the issue of long room
In Ghana, there are four Bonded warehouse facilities or Inland Container Depots where containers are taken to when they arrive .
It is in these Bonded warehouses or ICDs that containers are examined and duty raised for the for the importer to pay.
One of theseÂ ICDs, Vanguard further belong to the government while remaining three are owned and operated by private bonded warehouse operators.
The clearing process in Ghana starts when the agent submits duly released delivery order (DO) at the information desk of GJT to check with central data office for information on cargo.
If the cargo is at the terminal, the agent pays the relevant charges at the revenue section next to the information desk.
The information desk collects all delivery orders and submits them to the container freight station (CFS) for processing.
Agent presents the declaration andÂ Â terminal payment receipt as evidence of lodgment of delivery order to the security detailed at the entrance to check, confirm and thenallow the agent entry.
At CFS, cargo located and then positioned for CEPS physical examination. After successful examination the CEPS official endorse the declaration as â€œdelivery allowedâ€ and electronically sends this information onto GCNET
The agent is issued with a Vehicle Appointment Notice (VAN) to enable him purchase an entry toll for the truck to come and load the cargo
The agent present the waybill to the audit section for final clearance then proceed to the exit gate for all documents to be checked by Customs, Excise and preventive Service (CEPS) GPHA security detailed there to check and allow final exit as appropriate.
After proceeingÂ to the waybill unit. the staff in charge will scrutinize the Delivery Order, Terminal Receipts/ Invoice, Customs Declaration and also confirm with GCNET if delivery is allowed for that cargo after which he endorses the DO for waybill/ delivery tally sheet (DTS) to be issued.
He then present the waybill to the audit section for final clearance then proceed to the exit gate for all documents to be checked by Customs, Excise and preventive Service ( security detailed there to check and allow final exit as appropriate.