The Tema Sector Commander of the Customs Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Felix Kojo-Martey, has cautioned importers against unauthorised agents at the port.
According to him, there are some illicit agents who are not accredited by Customs and GPHA but illegally operate around the Tema Port.
Giving some of the common traits of such unlicensed agents, he stated that these unauthorised agents have no offices in their dealings and operations.
He added that they normally use single names which make it cumbersome to trace them when an importer is duped.
The sector commander advised importers to always deal with authorised agents licensed by Customs and GPHA, and should take a critical survey of their office set-ups or ambiance of the agent before surging on to deal with the person.
According to him, these unlicensed agents parading in the Tema Port do not bear identification cards (ID) which mandate their line of operations.
He further added that these unlicensed agents normally assure their clients in what he termed as “the unattainable” in clearing of their goods within the shortest possible time at a lower rate charge on duties, saying that authorised agents at the ports have a standard fee charge for the clearance of their goods.
He made these assertions during a workshop for journalists in Tema on the education of cargo or vessel handling, documentation, clearance and delivery organised by the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority.
Stating the roles of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) at the ports to journalists at the training, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of GSA, Amponsah Bediako, explained that the GSA is there at the ports to establish and promulgate standards with the objective of ensuring high quality of goods produced in the country, whether for local consumption or export.
He further added that as part of its core mandates, GSA is there to promote standardisation in industry commerce, promote industrial efficiency and development, and also promote standard in public and industrial welfare, health and safety.
In climaxing the training education on the activities of the Tema Ports, the Director General for GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah, stated that there are different government institutions who also operate at the port, adding that activities at the Tema Port are not entirely done solely by GPHA alone.
He continued… “GPHA begins the process of cargo clearance at the ports, but in between, there are lots of stakeholders whose activities at GPHA are backed by their various legislative instruments” adding that GPHA does not have control over their activities.
Mr Ansah added that GPHA must protect their enviable achievements which have earned them Integrated Systems Organisation (ISO) certification in their integrated management systems.
According to him, GPHA is bringing an initiative to wire the entire port enclave with wireless internet to monitor activities in the port.