Citi Business News can confirm that the implementation date for the Advance Shipment Information System (ASHI) has been postponed.
The implementation date is now 2nd of April 2015.
The Advanced Shipment Information is an electronic platform which will enable importers to fill out documentation online to expedite cargo clearance process.
This is to help minimize the cost of doing business at the country’s ports and reduce delays.
But the Transport Ministry says the postponement has been necessitated by the need for more clarification by the Ghana Shippers Authority to all relevant stakeholders.
In an exclusive interview with Citi Business News, sector minister, Dzifa Attivor said the one month break will ensure the shippers and freight forwarders are informed enough for the smooth implementation of the ASHI.
‘’As a responsible government, we want to ensure that people who are doing business at our ports are happy because they don’t have to spend so much on demurrage and that one of the benefits of the implementation of the ASHI.’’
She adds that importers will benefit immensely as by the time a vessel is loaded abroad, and the importer gets a bill of laden, it will be transmitted to Ghana; this implies that the importer can start processes in clearing their goods so by the time the vessel arrives in Ghana, greater part of the process would have been covered paving way for the goods to be cleared in 7 days.
According to the Transport Minister, the ASHI will ensure greater accountability citing, Togo, Senegal, Benin and Ivory Coast as having the system at their ports ‘’If it’s not good, I don’t think these countries will be implementing it.’
Meanwhile the Ghana Shippers Authority has urged the freight forwarders and relevant stakeholders to accept the ASHI since it is to their own benefit.
Head of Public Relations, Fred Asiedy Dartey tells Citi Business News, even though some people may have issues with the transparency ASHI will bring, the system must be cleaned to improve data security and corresponding revenue for government as well as enhance the competitiveness of the shipper.