By Edward Adjei FRIMPONG, Sunyani

Gateway Services Limited (GSL) has held a one-day sensitisation forum in Sunyani for actors in various aspects of the importation business on the activities of the Destination Inspection Companies (DICs), under the theme ?Destination Inspection in Ghana, the Way Forward With Gateway Services Limited?.

Participants at the gathering included importers, traders, and shippers, officials of the Food and Drugs Authority as well as Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). They among other things discussed relevant issues with regard to formulated innovations meant to accelerate the processing of import documentations at our ports.

The forum is in consonance with GSL?s mandate as one of the five Destination Inspection Companies sanctioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to render services at the country?s ports, after government decided to move away from the then-Pre-shipment Inspection to Destination Inspection (DI) in April 2000.

The introduction of DI is in response to trade facilitation through customs compliance and modernisation. Its activities are geared toward making Ghana the hub for sub-regional investment.

Mrs. AmmaAddo, Corporate Services Manager, GSL told the gathering that her outfit has developed and implemented modern and efficient tools, such as X-ray scanners, in line with its objective of making global trade flow smoother and safer. ?We have also developed a Computerised Risk Management System (CRMS) and a Transaction Price Database (TPD) for rapid verification of imports.?

GSL has also introduced a mobile SMS text messaging system whereby importers/agents are notified when their documents are queried and finally when the FCVRs are issued. This is one of many new innovations formulated recently times in response to feedback from shippers in Accra, Tema and Takoradi.

These and many others, she said, are some of the measures designed to help in eliminating fraud, price discrimination, fiscal evasion as a result of over-invoicing at the ports, under-valuation as well as wrong declaration of tariff codes.

Mrs. Addo therefore stressed the commitment of GSL, a member of the COTECNA Swiss Multinational Company with over 100 offices worldwide, to play a meaningful role in the import trade in Ghana, saying: ?The regional interactions which have already taken place in Tarkoradi and Kumasi underpin our desire to ensure that import business players understand the requirements of DI.?

Alhaji Ibrahim Isahaku, Chief Revenue Officer-Customs Division-GRA Sunyani Sector, explained the role of Customs and the required procedures and processes involved in importing and exporting goods with the support of DICs since the adoption of the scheme as the preferred choice in mobilising revenue.

He said the introduction of DI is timely as the government has launched the Gateway project to kick-start export-led-growth of the Ghanaian economy, and to position the country for injection of Foreign Direct Investment in shaping Ghana as a commercial hub within the West African sub-region.

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