GCNet rolls out paperless Certificate of Origin to deepen trade facilitation 

The Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) in partnership with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs Division, has rolled out electronic issuance for Certificate of Origin documents to fully automate processes in the trade facilitation space.

This new module is made available on the electronic Ministries, Departments and Agencies (eMDA) portal that is linked to the Ghana Customs Management Systems (GCMS).

The activation of electronic issuance or delivery of e-Certificates of Origin for all exports takes effect from October 15, 2018, with all exporters and their agents mandated to process applications for new Certificates of Origin online.

This means that exporters and their agents must initiate all new applications and printing of Certificates of Origin through the e-MDA portal on the GCNet/GCMS system – bearing in mind that any manual issuance of Certificates of Origin ceased from October 15, 2018.

The full roll-out has become necessary following the completion of broad stakeholder sensitisation and training sessions organised by GCNet in collaboration with the GNCCI and GRA, to build capacity of users so as to enhance their experience of the module in processing necessary documentation online for exports.

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Industry players in the trade facilitation space intimate that the electronic delivery of Certificates of Origin (CO) has become imperative, and this development is a huge leap in the light of a dynamic business environment that continuously leverages technology to modernise its processes in order to expedite the application and issuance process, as well as improve security in order to boost business competitiveness.

The roll out of electronic delivery for Certificates of Origin – including the issuance of electronic certificates for business registration as well as applications for exemption, permits and approvals in the clearance chain – are among a number of paperless regimes that GCNet has championed. These are to support government’s programme to streamline trade facilitation processes by leveraging technology to reduce constraints, thereby fostering trade development and increasing revenue for accelerated development.

Speaking at a stakeholder capacity building session, Mr. Eben Engmann-TradeNet Manager of GCNet, expressed GCNet’s commitment to working with all stakeholders to ensure the goal of a paperless trade facilitation regime is achieved.

According to him, GCNet will continue to innovate and enhance user-experience while deploying e-solutions which directly impact on the clearance chain to boost business competitiveness, reduce cost of doing business and increase the ease of doing business.

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He commended GNCCI and GRA for the fruitful partnership that has resulted in the roll-out of an electronic platform to facilitate applications and delivery of Certificates of Origin to deepen transparency, reduce costs and save time for the benefits of stakeholders.

Chief Executive Officer of the GNCCI, Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye, was elated that the Chamber has finally computerised the processes for issuing the documentary evidence showing the origin of goods exported from Ghana, as well as certification for a variety of other export documentation.

He stressed that the process is aligned with the International Certificate of Origin guidelines prepared by World Chambers Federation, ICC’s specialised division for Chamber Affairs.

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