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Ghana’s courier services attain international standards

Ghana's courier services have been placed at par with international standards following the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) as a component in processing courier services in the country.

The PAAR, which has also boosted government revenue, is an integrated system, which cuts down the human elements, processes and duration of post and cargo clearance in a transparent manner, which affords all stakeholders an opportunity to know and monitor every stage of the clearance process.

Before West Blue Consulting introduced the concept last December, courier service was a tedious task as customs officers had to manually go through each of the clearance processes, including sorting, classification, valuation and examination, which involved a lot of paper work,” an official of the company said in Accra.


It caused undue delays, sometimes taking a whole day or more for one to clear a simple parcel. In some instances, a client in a quest to clear a simple parcel had to seek letters of clearance from some state institutions and agencies.

The introduction of the PAAR has, however, reduced the duration of the process and it now takes between 10 and 15 minutes to clear a parcel once all the forms have been correctly filled and bills paid where necessary.

Due to the Customs Amendments Act 905, passed in February 2015, Ghana was put on a common external tariff for West African countries, which is managed on a software platform by West Blue.

The company ensures that customs deal with classification and valuation. However, those are managed systemically on the platform with all the stakeholders integrated to make the process uniformed and straightforward.

With the PAAR, an importer does not have to be physically present to know what stage an expected cargo has reached as the process at each and every stage could be monitored online once the importer has access to internet services.

“It is also now possible for one to know before the arrival of the cargo, what the charges are, pay straight to the banks and then sit at home and expect the parcel to be delivered.

“Selected banks that have approval for the collection of payments from declarants  - Ecobank and GCB Bank - are also hooked onto the system,” the official of West Blue said.

Efficient operations

The agencies through which the parcels or goods are imported to Ghana (DHL, FEDEX and ARAMEX) are also hooked to the system to allow for easy and efficient work flow.

The system also allows declarants who are not satisfied with charges on their courier goods or parcels to protest and subsequently call for review.


“West Blue has provided machines, scanners, laptops and printers, among other things, at the courier services centres at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to aid their operations. The company also provides training workshop for custom officers and other stakeholders on the efficient use of the system,” the official said.


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