The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division has taken delivery of two Mobile Laboratory Vans to combat illicit trade, anti-smuggling operations as well as protect consumers from harmful goods.

The Mobile Lab which is expected to be placed at the Ports and boarders daily to facilitate the clearance of goods, would also safe guard the environment, maintain security in the flow of trade as well as combat terrorism.

The Mobile Laboratory Vans was procured by the GRA, Customs Division with funding from the Netherlands under the GIZ implemented Good Financial Governance Programme (GFG) in Ghana.

GFG programme was commissioned in 2003 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, USAID and other partners.

The vans would be deployed to a particular station, terminal or check point upon the request or directive of the Customs Scientific officer in charge and the Sector Commander.

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Commissioning the vans, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General, noted that the role of customs laboratories has evolved over time with changes in international trade environment.

According to Mr. Nti, these modern developments have therefore made it imperative for the GRA to upgrade its customs Laboratories with the latest innovations in technology and working methods by the acquisition of Mobile laboratories and portable devices.

He was happy that the van had been custom-made to meet the GRA’s needs and enhance service delivery.

“The deployment of the mobile laboratories will help improve the response time for goods that arrive through the outstations and the country stand to benefit from a more secure flow of goods and increase revenue from International trade.”

Mr. Isaac Crentsil, the Commissioner, Customs Division, was elated that the mobile laboratory vans had come at an opportune time when the GRA was going paperless on port transactions.

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According to Mr. Crentsil “the units will enhance business operations of GRA as it has the ability to detect and identify items in cargo for export or imports through the use of modern technologies thus combating smuggling.”

He was optimistic that the donation of the vans would further enhance bilateral relations between Ghana, the Kingdom of Netherlands and Germany.

“It is my expectation that the two mobile laboratory vans would lead to an improvement in service delivery and promote the Customs vision of becoming more efficient,” he added.

Assistant Commissioner of Customs Laboratory, Anthony Mensah, said mobile laboratories were very critical in improving the efficiency of customs work because they bring the customs laboratories out of the buildings on to the field, thereby permitting on-the-spot customs controls.

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According to him, the vans could detect goods concealed in hidden or false compartment and they were also equipped with special signaling system and kits for screening food, drugs and industrial chemicals.

Dr Nina Korte, GIZ-GFG Revenue Component Manager was delighted that the vans were going to improve service delivery of Customs and evaluate systems that would meet international standards.

Dr Korte charged the Customs to maintain the vans to prolong their lifespan.

Mr. Ron Strikker, Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, noted that the vans were going to propel speedy and efficient clearance of goods and enhance right investment drive in the country.

Mr. Strikker was happy Ghana was mobilizing more revenue through broadening the tax system through fiscal and ambitious investment drive.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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