Over the years, Ports and Harbor Authority has faced various criticisms including government on the stress and struggles importers go through in other to clear their goods from the port. Tracking imports into Ghana and knowing the estimated payable duty has now become a stress-free and easy task with the launch of a one-stop free mobile software.
The software application, known as the Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App, is another triumph in the paperless ports and trade facilitation campaign – and specifically reduces the cost and time of doing business at the ports.
It makes it very easy and simple for importers to track the status, movement and location of their expected consignment, be they general goods or vehicles; and also to have foreknowledge as to the amount of duties that will be charged on such imports before clearance.
Stakeholders within the trade and imports sector can now check such information in the comfort of their homes or from anywhere in the world, without having to be physically present at the port.
It has been largely embraced and described as a novelty and brilliant innovation in the trade and imports fraternity.
The Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App serves as a credible one-stop-shop for all trade information exchange and clearance processes.
This Mobile App initiative also forms part of the Paperless Port reform in transforming Ghana’s ports to Smart Ports.
In an attempt to transform Ghana’s ports to Smart Ports and strengthen Ghana’s economic competitiveness, there is automation of the Certification of Origin for export; cancellation of the importer registration process; and regulatory agencies for physical examination reduced from 16 to 3.
The integrated risk management system has reduced physical inspections of goods at the ports by 50 percent.
Vice-President Mahamadu Bawumia explained the essence of the newly-launched application during an address at his recent Town Hall Meeting in Accra.
“To deal with the lack of information on the status of consignment and the duty payment, the Ghana Trade Mobile App has been developed to enable importers check the status of their consignments and the import duty payable online,” Vice-President Dr. Bawumia said.
He explained further that reducing the cost and time of doing business at the ports not only makes life easier for traders and importers, but also has a direct positive impact on the economy.
Another advantage of the Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App is that it enhances transparency and reduces human influence and interference – a situation that had hitherto been abused to cause leakage in government revenue at the ports.
The free-to-download Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App is available on both Google Play store for Android users and on IOS- App store.
The Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App is easy to operate and the processes have been broken down into specifics – depending on whether one wants trade information on general goods, used vehicles, or whether one simply wants to track a consignment.
For example, the App has four simple steps to follow so as to obtain duty information on general goods.
It is mandatory to download and open the App, select ‘Duty Calculator’ and then select ‘General Goods’ as the first three steps.
The fourth and final step is to key in the HS Code, Freight, Product Value, Ancillary Charges, ExWorks, select the currency and then click the ‘calculate’ button for the results to be displayed in the pop-up space.
This is a self-explanatory App and easy to follow once downloaded. For instance, it requires that where the exact value of a consignment is not known, the user should just type ‘0’ as in zero.
It has two easy options to choose from to get estimated duties payable on used vehicles.
The first option is by using the make, model and year of the car to derive your duties. This option guides users to select make of the vehicle, select model of the vehicle, specify year the vehicle was made – and then press the ‘Find’ button for results to be displayed. The user may select ‘View Duty’ to view the total duty payable.
There is also an option of using the Chassis-number of the vehicle. With this option, the user keys in the vehicle chassis-number, clicks the ‘Decode’ button and selects ‘View Duty’ to view the total duty payable
For users who wish to track their consignment, there are four simple steps which are: open the Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App, click on ‘Track Consignment’ and then sign up with TIN, email, phone number and passcode, or login with TIN, email and pass-code as the first three steps.
The home page displays all UCR’s generated in the current month from which users can
track a consignment by selecting a UCR. The home page also displays a search section where you can select year and month to view UCR’s of that year and month – from which you can track a consignment by selecting a UCR
Users can also track consignment by selecting ‘Search’ by UCR and then inserting a UCR and press submit to track that consignment
The results of the search display a timeline of the selected UCR with the duty payable of that consignment. The website www.ghanastradinghub.gov.gh provides relevant information on Trade Hub.
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