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On 9 November 2018 the WCO hosted the Global Conference on the Comprehensive Review of the RKC which gathered close to 150 experts from Member Customs administrations, partner international organizations, regional organizations, industry associations, the private sector, development partners and academia.The Conference was organized with the objective to raise awareness of the recently launched process of a comprehensive review of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (as amended), widely known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC). The event also aimed at elucidating the partner entities’ ideas and inputs in that regard with a view to ensuring that the WCO flagship Convention would continue to play a prominent role in trade facilitation, in promoting the role of Customs in the security context and in harmonizing and simplifying Customs procedures.

 

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Port reforms et al draw investors

Posted on 2018-11-05 15:36:46

More investors are choosing to do business in Ghana as opposed to other regional rivals Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, as the country implements various reforms at its sea ports, construction permits acquisition, and business registration processes.Last year, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) recorded US$4.91 billion in foreign direct inflows. For the 2018 financial year, the Centre expects to record US$10billion in investments.The increased interest in the country over the past few years, has been aided by the country’s rankings on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report for 2019.The latest report ranked Ghana as the 114th country with the most business-friendly environment, largely on the back of three major reforms—ports, building permits acquisition and business registration.Ghana was ranked 156 in the trading across borders, scoring 54.84 up from 52.3. The feat was achieved as a result of the reforms implemented at the ports.

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Ghana has moved six places up in the latest World Bank report on Doing Business Ranking.The report, which focuses on investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it, described the country's business environment as a rapid growing one.According to the data provided in the report, dubbed “Training for Reform”, Ghana had improved its ranking to 114 out of 190 economies, up six places from 120 in the 2018 Doing Business Report.The improvement was attributed to a number of economic interventions being rolled out by the government, particularly the implementation of the paperless system at the country's port.The report said Ghana had made business at the port easier since the introduction of the single window system.

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AS part of the annual world post day anniversary of the universal postal union which happens every October 9, Ghana Post in collaboration with ministry of communication have this year introduced new and high-level initiatives to improve postal services to customers at easy and affordable rates.This is to revive Ghana Post, especially in this era of technology and innovation, according to the managing director of Ghana Post. Mr. James Kwofie.“Ghana post is revamping its services with heavy technology in networking of all major post offices for effective counter services,” he said, adding that “these new systems and services will make parcel services convenient and easy to access”.
The Valuation center
This system service, which is powered by Westblue Consult with the Ghana Revenue Authority (customs division) has come to replace the manual process where items and parcels that are sent from abroad are required to go through customs assessment and

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The Mobex Innovation Awards saw West Blue Consulting emerge overall best innovation of the year. Moses Baiden and Chief Executive of West Blue, Valentina Mintah were both honoured male and female innovation pacesetters of the year respectively. 

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Social media platform, Facebook has opened its first African technology hub in Nigeria.Located at Mongomery, Yaba, a suburb of Lagos, it is named NG_Hub. The hub, which is equipped with modern technologies, also boasts of several work spaces.In the likes of the CCHUBs, NG_Hub, The Guardian, gathered that it was established to further deepen advance technology, including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, among others in the country.At the unveiling, Facebook also disclosed that it planned to empower about 50,000 young Nigerians with digital training, which had started.

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As part of his familiarization tour, the acting Director-General of GPHA, Michael Luguje paid a courtesy call on the management and workers of Westblue consulting, who are the technical support providers for Customs division of GRA.The C.E.O of Westblue consulting, Mark Addo congratulated the Acting D.G. and assured him that West Blue will continue to partner the Port to offer the best of services to Port users.

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The implementation of the National Single Window and Paperless Port System at the country’s sea ports is gradually yielding results to the admiration of importers and stakeholders.Analysis of the Monthly Import Performance of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) between 2015 and mid-year 2018, has revealed that the amount of revenue realised from imports has been increasing year-on-year.The growth in revenue realised from imports over the period can largely be attributed to the strengthening of the Single Window System at the country’s ports in September 2015, when WestBlue Consulting was brought on-board to compliment the efforts of GCNet, and the recent implementation of the Paperless Port System at the country’s sea ports, spearheaded by the Vice President, Dr. MahamuduBawumia.

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The recent review of the paperless port reforms, that has seen the reduction of the number of agencies undertaking joint inspections at the ports from 16 to three (3), is expected to lead to a 30 percent growth in government revenue from the ports by the end of the year.The abolishing of the compliance stage of the clearance process— whose function has been taken over by the Customs Technical Services Bureau (CTSB)–also portends a much more perfected process that is able to rake in more revenue for central government.Generally, revenue has underperformed, given the rafts of taxes abolished in the 2017 budget. The 11 tax measures announced has denied government of about a billion cedis in revenue. However, the paperless port reforms remains a bright spot in the generation of revenue.

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Then enter West Blue Consulting in 2015, taking over the functions of the destination inspection companies which issued valuation reports on behalf of customs.
Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) programme was officially launched on December 1, 2015.Customs, therefore, took over their core mandate of Classification, Valuation and Risk Management with West Blue Consulting as the Consulting and Technical Partner for the Division; and this ushered in the second phase of the GNSW.

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