By Cecil Mensah
The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has pledge to make the business of international trade buoyant by focusing on the use of enhance technology and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Mr George Blankson, gave this assurance at the celebration of the annual international customs day on the theme: ‘‘Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement’’ in Accra.
According to him, the World Customs Organization (WCO) is dedicating the year 2016 to promoting the digitization of Customs process by which WCO members will have the opportunity to further promote and showcase the use of ICT.
He said, efforts are being made by the GRA on the use enhanced technologies enablers to serve the huge clients of the authority to ensure better service delivery.
“Our partnership with other public and private sector operators has manifested in improved human capacity building through extensive professional training as well as the introduction of new technologies,” he added
He said, the launch of the initiative the GRA Customs Technical Services Bureau (CTSB) to handle the re-introduced Classification and Valuation by Customs using ICT.
He explained that even though the early stages of the project experienced some challenges, these challenges have been overcome through diligent monitoring.
We intend to sustain the successes attained so far to improve upon revenue assessment and collection.
He took the opportunity to congratulate all those who worked tirelessly to ensure the project’s successful takeoff.
He commended the tolerance exhibited by the clients while the teething challenges that emerged were being tackled during Customs take-over valuation classification and risk management function from the Destination Inspection Companies (DICs).
According to him, these were done in the bid to overcome the bureaucracies that are prevalent in the tax administration mechanism and to ensure user friendly services.
He said, one of the key initiatives is the Pre Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS), which is a dynamic internal control and sustainable risk management platform that provides effective import verification.
Delivering the WCO message, the Acting Commissioner, Customs Division of GRA, Kundamnuru John Vianney, said the use of ICT has transformed how customs operate in the country.
He said ICT has increase operational performance Customs in accordance with WCO principles.
The Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, said the automation and transformation at Customs division of the GRA will offer an interface in the revenue mobilization.
He said as part of the phase two of the import declaration platform zone would be made electronic as well as the internal system also upgraded.