Trade Ministry signs 10-year deal with Ghana Link …single window operators now 3

The Ministry of Trade has awarded a 10-year third single window contract to Ghana Link Network Services Limited – which has CUPIA Korea Customs Service as its overseas partner.

The sole-sourced contract, which was signed on March 29, 2018 and published on the Public Procurement Authority’s (PPA) website, is meant for the company to provide a trade facilitation and Customs Management System (UNIPASS) at the country’s ports – a job already being done by West Blue Consulting and GCNet.

The signing of another single window contract will only serve to derail efforts at streamlining and integrating existing systems at the country’s ports to ensure a truly paperless system.

The cost of doing business at the port is also expected to increase if government allows a third company to offer a service already being provided by two existing companies.

Interestingly, Ghana Link and its overseas partner are going to earn 0.75 percent of total proceeds at the port – which is far higher than what the existing vendors are receiving.

This has raised concerns among stakeholders at the port – questioning the reason behind the Trade Ministry’s decision to sign another single window contract, as it will only increase the cost of doing business at the ports.

Government, acting through the Ministry of Finance, already has a five-year contract with West Blue Consulting (Customs World, Dubai) that began in 2015.

There is also an exciting contract with the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET), which the Trade Ministry signed on behalf of government.

Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, upon assumption of office, realised the confusion and loopholes at the ports – and immediately introduced the paperless port system which is aimed at ensuring all stakeholders operating at the ports integrate their systems to provide efficient service to traders and block revenue leakages at the ports.

In view of that, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia recently welcomed a delegation from Customs World, Dubai, to discuss how it can deploy the world’s best-integrated port system, as is being used in Dubai, at Ghana’s ports.