Transport Minister-designate says government would introduce technology at the Tema and Takoradi Ports to reduce the delay in cargo clearance.
Kwaku Ofori Asiamah lamented about the time and cost incurred by companies in the clearance of their goods promising to fix the challenges.
Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Thursday, he said he would ensure that “time and cost are reduced” in the operation of Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA).
Statistics have revealed that Ghanaian importers pay in excess of $70 million (GHC160 million) annually in demurrage charges at the seaports as a result of delayed in clearance of goods.
Demurrage charges are expenses made by charterers for the use of ships or containers beyond the agreed period captured in the charter party.
The importers also incurred some extra costs when containers are moved from the port to the off-dock terminals to be scanned.
The containers are opened because of the need for inspectors to physically crosscheck information provided by importers.
Advance Shipment Information (ASHI) was developed to reduce the cost, but it was resisted by some stakeholders citing poor timing.
This led to calls for the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to encourage pre-arrival clearance processes with minimum documentation in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
But Mr Ofori Asiamah said government would install state-of-the-art gadgets at the seaports to facilitate easy clearance of goods.
He said they would end the practice where inspectors remove all the goods in a container before counting them.
He said there would be a new system which would ensure that containers are scanned to know its content.
Commenting on the Atuabo Port Project, Mr Ofori Asiamah said if approved by Parliament, he would support the commencement of work on the project.
“I want to assure that the NPP which believes in Public Private Partnership (PPP) and will encourage private people who are in to do legitimate business,” he said.