The Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) will begin a stock-taking exercise of goods in bonded warehouses and free zones on November 27, 2007.
The exercise precedes the earnest commencement of the electronic monitoring and tracking of goods from the Tema entry point as they are transported to neighboring landlocked countries and bonded warehouses.
This was disclosed during an open forum organized by CEPS for 100 players in the free zone system and operators of bonded warehouses.
The programme, which took place at the Civil Servants Association Auditorium in Accra on Monday, had in attendance the CEPS Commissioner, Emmanuel Doku and Deputy Commissioners at the Service's headquarters.
Giving an overview of the programme, the Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Eugene Ofosuhene, in charge of Internal Audit noted that certain conditions must precede the take-off of the programme, pointing out for instance that players must be notified about the exercise's commencement date of 27th November 2007.
Another requirement he mentioned is about stacking and arranging of goods in warehouses such that stock-takers can have easy and unimpeded access to stocks.
According to him, there is also the need to provide labour and materials for the storing, examining, packing, marking and stock-taking of the warehoused goods.
In his remarks at the function, Mr. Emmanuel Doku, CEPS Commissioner noted that with the first phase of the programme having been successful, it is time for the second phase which according to him involves the taking of stocks to move on.
After an earlier visit to Israel to observe the workings of the system there, he said the CEPS Administration is convinced that the electronic monitoring and tracking system is the best option for the country.
The total take-off of the programme, he announced, should be by the end of next month.
Mr. Jonathan Osakere, the CEO of Magnate Technology and Services Ltd, on his part said as the prime contractors in the programme, theirs would be the provision of the necessary electronic data to assist CEPS and other stakeholders with information about the movement of goods and thereby ensure that such items are not tampered with in transit and in the bonded warehouses.
Ms Veronica Sada, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Exports reminded stakeholders about the need to adhere to the regulations governing the running of bonded warehouses.
An interactive public forum followed the presentations, during which operators of bonded warehouses and free zones expressed their various concerns and received interventions from CEPS officials.
By A.R. Gomda