The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Isaac Crentsil, has assured businesses that his outfit will ensure reduction in the time and cost of doing business at the ports and provide value for money services.

He said his outfit shall facilitate trade by adopting international best practices to boost confidence in the country’s economy.

Mr. Crentsil made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the 2nd Stakeholders Conference on ‘National Single Window and WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement-Key Tools For Trade Development’ organized by West Blue Consulting, in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Accra.

Although the provision of an enabling trade environment for international trade is normally perceived to be in the interest of the international trading community, particularly the business men, that cannot be the whole truth, he indicated.

“It is equally very beneficial to the customs authorities and their respective economies or countries,” Mr Crentsil said.

He continued: “This is so because an enabling international trading environment leads to an increase in the volume of international trade and investment which leads to increases in revenue mobilization and collection. The customs authorities thus achieve their given targets and their national governments succeed in prosecuting their developmental agenda.

“It is therefore a win-win situation to the international trading community and the economies of the countries concerned,” he said.

Mr. Crentsil therefore called on all other border and port agencies or authorities to unite and cooperate as required by Article 8 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which calls for ‘border agency cooperation” to facilitate international trade.

He assured the international trade community that customs would discharge it duties effectively and efficiently, stating that “we shall ensure a reduction in the time and cost of doing business with Customs and provide value for money services. We shall ensure that there is trust and confidence in doing business in Ghana.”

Single Window Needs Support

Valentina Mintah, Chief Executive of West Blue Consulting, in her speech, said the Ghana National Single Window, which began in December 2015, has made some tremendous progress by significantly reducing the time and cost of doing business in Ghana and making trade easier.

She said, “We certainly have a long way to go and all hands will be needed on deck.”

Ms Mintah said Ghana is one of the original countries that ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, stating that “with our Ghana National Single Window Programme touching on 14 articles of the Agreement, we plan to embrace it fully, both in the letter and the spirit and will go far beyond its requirements in making Ghana a leading trading nation in the region and globally.”